If you’re a New Yorker, you’ve most likely attended an event at Madison Square Garden to watch a Knicks or Rangers game, or even better, a Billy Joel concert. Picture yourself in the arena or any other venue of that size surrounded by a packed house with more than approximately 20,000 fans. Now envision all the seats filled with the children supported by Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation in the last 16 years because of our Founder and Chairman, Lewis S. Ranieri.
Pause for one second and let that number sink in… 20,000 and growing every year! More than 20,000 lives have been changed because of the commitment Lewis made in 2005 to Catholic education and his heartfelt belief that all children deserve the lifelong benefits one receives by attending school enhanced by the religious traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. Just this year alone, Tomorrow’s Hope disbursed $2.45 million in tuition assistance to approximately 1,200 students. And in the last 16 years, Lewis’s profound fundraising efforts have generated more than $25 million in aid to underserved families. It all began with the desire to give children the same opportunity he received in his youth to better prepare them for life. Lewis has often said “I know that my Catholic education helped me to define my priorities - God, Family and Job (in that order) - that lead me on the right path to a successful life, both personally and professionally.”
This level of dedication to the mission of Tomorrow’s Hope to ensure the excellence as well as the continuance of Catholic Schools on Long Island by increasing awareness and by providing scholarship and program funding for the needs of students and schools is in one word extraordinary. At it is why the Leadership Roundtable honored Lewis last week with the 2021 Monan Medal for Catholic Philanthropy, an award presented to him by His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan.
“The J. Donald Monan, SJ Distinguished Catholic Philanthropy Medal is an annual honor conferred upon Catholic philanthropists who have invested generously and faithfully in the Catholic Church’s work to lead through exemplary temporal affairs, and whose giving reflects Fr. Monan’s deeply held belief in collaborative excellence and partnership,” according to the Leadership Roundtable website.
Lewis exemplifies this and more. He continues to lead Tomorrow’s Hope with a passion and vigor that will buoy our plans to expand our mission and provide even more deserving children with the gift of a Catholic education. Lewis will impact generations to come, a remarkable feat that deserves all the recognition in the world.