Padua Plus+ Campaign: STORIES

Advancing the Mission of Padua Franciscan High School

Pat Perotti ’73
Pat Perotti ’73 was a bright kid, from a hard-working, traditional, Catholic family. His parents saw Padua as an opportunity for their son to be well-educated, in an atmosphere filled with academic rigor and spiritual values. Like so many other graduates, Pat’s time at Padua did all that and more.

“One of the things that makes me the happiest looking back is the thought that the teachers didn’t care first for the classroom – the tests, the lessons, the grades – they cared frst for us. Advice about issues at home, with friends, with girls, these were all issues we knew we could trust our teachers with, because they always welcomed us. All of that made me comfortable dealing effectively with all kinds of people. My success as a lawyer, and in life, is all due to Padua,” said Perotti.

Ohio Lawyers Give Back, through Pat Perotti ‘73 and his partners at Dworken & Bernstein, made a $50,000 donation to Padua for tuition assistance in the spring of 2019. In April 2019, they were featured in Crain’s Cleveland Business for their good work with unclaimed funds.

Pat reflected on his Padua experience, 45 years later. “Learning math, science and everything else was important at Padua, but not nearly as important as learning how to be a good man. We focused on learning love, honesty and compassion for others. The Franciscans and lay teachers taught me Christian values, but even more importantly, I learned them from my classmates. That’s how we treated each other. We were a close group of less than 200 guys, but EVERYONE was the Class of ’73. I treasure that to this day.”

The Fredecker Family Foundation
The Fredecker Family Foundation has stepped forth as the lead donor in the PaduaPlus+ Campaign. Before he died, Richard Fredecker offered to replace some metal casement windows with energy efficient, vinyl clad, double pane windows. This was the first of several gifts from the Family Foundation, which includes his children David S. Fredecker ’78 and Linda Fredecker Jackson. They carried on their father’s project, and replaced lower-level windows with secure glass block.

Fredecker Family

In 2017, The Fredecker Family Foundation’s generosity continued with a $500,000 gift to redesign the main entrance and lobby. The first phase of construction on this project began in April of 2017. It is slated for completion in October of 2017.
The Foundation’s gifts, totaling close to $1 million, represent the lead donation in the PaduaPlus+ Campaign. Fredecker ’78 shared this reflection when asked why they decided to make this major commitment to the campaign:

“Padua Franciscan High School has always been a Fredecker family passion! My dad always told me that he met his lifelong friends at Padua when he started Bingo here in 1969.  My brother Rick (Class of ’71) and I, (Class of ’78), have great memories of our days at Padua. My mother and father started the process of giving back to Padua before they died in 2008 and 2014. My sisters, Karen Fredecker Bearns and Linda Fredecker Jackson, along with Rick and I, felt a gift from the Fredecker Family Foundation, in honor of our parents Richard and Catherine would be a fitting tribute.  My renewed involvement at Padua the last five years has been very rewarding and enjoyable and has taken me back in time 40 years! This has been made possible by all the wonderful people at Padua with whom I have developed great relationships.” -Dave Fredecker ’78

The Smiley Family
During the summer of 2017, Padua Franciscan received a significant gift of $250,000 to the PaduaPlus+ Campaign from the Raymond E. and Eleanor M. Smiley family. When asked what prompted them to give to Padua, Ray Smiley stated, “It is so important for me to give back to the institution that gave my grandchildren, Anastasia ’14 and Isabelle ’20, such a strong Catholic educational foundation. I think it’s fundamental to provide funds so those students who have the talent, willingness and dedication to pursue an education at a Catholic institution have the resources to do so.”

The Smiley family has also been generous sponsorship supporters to the annual Bruin Benefit for many years. They are presenting a challenge to others in the Padua community to join them in support of the PaduaPlus+ Campaign by making a gift. Rise up to the challenge, and join them in making a difference. The goal is to secure 250 first-time gifts of $250 or more to the PaduaPlus+ Campaign. Simply indicate that you are supporting the Smiley Challenge when you make your gift.

The Byke Family
“We could not be happier with our choice of having all three of our children attend Padua. The faith-based culture and sense of family Padua provides has never changed over the years. We have always been impressed by the school, its caring teachers and administrators. The curriculum is challenging and has led to our children being very well-prepared for the rigors of college. Overall our family loved our Padua experience.” -Chris Byke, Padua Parent & Donor

The George Family
“I want to thank all of the donors who made my Padua education possible. You have no idea what impact you have made on my life and the lives of countless other students. Padua has changed my life. Giving back will allow similar opportunities for more students in years to come.”

-Rachel George ’18, Padua Alumna