Thursday, August 18, 2011

Warren Buffett! Warren! Mr. Buffett, Over Here! What Leo High School Could Do With Some Stimulus Money; Why Wait For a Tax.

"My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress," Mr. Buffett argued forcefully in a New York Times op-ed. "It's time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice." Wall Street Journal

Mr. Buffet! Over here. Mr. Buffett, no one gets coddled on 79th Street in Chicago.

Mr. Warren Buffett can not wait to be taxed heavily for being a very wealthy man. He and Bill Gates are two self-made men of the Horatio Alger Stripe. Bill Gates established the Gates Millennium Scholars one of whom is a Leo High School graduate of the Class of 2011 - Eder Cruz.

As a Gates Millennium Scholar, Eder Cruz can go to the college of choice, Valparaiso University in Indiana, and go on to any post-graduate work he chooses. Leo High School prepared Eder Cruz and afforded that fine, tough and thoughtful young man to be so blessed. Leo Alumni helped Eder's family meet the cost of the tuition here at Leo High School. Shared sacrifice is the path to success along with old Alger-ian Luck and Pluck.

Eder Cruz has pluck aplenty. He was the only non-African American in the student body for two of his three years at Leo. Eder chose Leo High School, following a disappointing freshman year at the Jesuit run Christo Rey College Prep in Pilsen - a school founded in the 1990's to serve Latinos. Eder chose Leo High School which was established to serve the Largely Irish Catholic neighborhood of Gresham in the 1920's. The Irish, Polish, Lithuanian, Italian and Croatian Catholics Alumni are still with Leo, physically present at every school event and overwhelmingly the pillar of this inner city school's finances. Between October 2010 and June 30,2011 Leo Graduates from the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's 80's and the 90's supported Leo, a school of 150 inner city young men to tune of $ 846,000 and change.

Eder Cruz was Lucky to be taught and mentored by Ms. Aurora Latifi, an Albanian immigrant Math teacher here at Leo High School. It was Ms. Latifi who pushed Eder Cruz to apply for the Gates Millennium Scholarship. Luck and Pluck.

As some of you may have heard, the American economy has been less than robust since 2008. America's credit rating has been downgraded to AA. Nevertheless, the graduates of Leo High School Class of 2011 all are going to college across America.

Tuition drives Catholic education. In this economy, that drive is very bumpy. Tuition at Leo High School is $ 7,250, one of the lowest of all Catholic high schools. Most families apply or financial assistance. I venture to say that no family is a six figure family. Our five figure families annual income range sits between $ 15, 244 and $ 51, 763. Having one son attend Leo is challenge; have two or more is a financial crucifixion.

Most families opt to divvy up the full nut of tuition and pay, for one child $ 659 a month. That is a very low rent on a one bedroom apartment in Chicago.

We also are required to pay the staff, by the way. Aside from Mr. One Way Hickey, I venture to say that no teacher or coach makes anywhere near a princely stipend every two weeks and if that staff has a family must pay into the group Medical, retirement, the Fed, State and Medicare.

Without Catholic heroes like Chicago's Big Shoulders Fund, the Leo Alumni and our many friends of private and corporate Chicago, things would be much tougher.

Leo High School prepares young men.

Last week Warren Buffet challenged President Obama to tax the super rich like himself.

Here's a challenge, Mr. Buffet. Invest in Leo High School. I have been asking Oprah to help since 1995. We have been doing a great job without a Superstar Sponsor; imagine what the young men from the toughest neighborhoods and financial challenges in Chicago could do with a little stimulus dough? Hold the phone!

Leo High School will always be a working man's, lunch bucket high school. It is not St. Ignatius College Prep, nor is it a Whitney Young. No young man is turned away. The Leo Alumni, or the Big Shoulders Fund's Jim O'Connor will find a way to get the money to help.

This educational product is time tested. Some of the lunch bucket sons of Leo went on to become the Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court - Tom Fitzgerald, or leaders of the Church like Bishop John Gorman, heroic and legendary firefighters like retired Chicago Fire Commissioner James Joyce, or Superintendent of Chicago Police -, the late James Conlisk, captains of commerce like African American Food Industry CEO Michael Thompson, and Chicago philanthropists and CEOs Frank Considine, Bill Kay, Andy McKenna and Don Flynn.

Warren Buffet and other great Americans should not wait for America to tax them; they should join the ranks of the Lions who continue to invest in young men who want to succeed.

Leo High School costs Warren Buffet not nickel one. We get no tax dollars. If Mr. Buffet wants to invest his surplus capital.

Write a Magnificent Check out to Leo High School and send it care of Dan McGrath, President for Institutional Advancement at

Leo High School
7901 S. Sangamon Street
Chicago, IL 60620

This will be a stimulus that will not go to waste. If you wish to chew me out for my presumption give me a growl at

Pat Hickey -Development Director
(773) 224-9600 ex. 208

Mr. Buffett, or any other captain of industry with surplus capital, let's make medicine!

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