Pictured are the 2017 recipients of the Justice, Respect and Peace Award, Jeanie Torchio and Terry Lynch, with 7th graders Addie Heehs and Hardy Lamberson.
Junior High students at St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School presented the school's second annual Justice, Respect and Peace Awards, which recognize those individuals in our community who make our world a better place and serve as shining examples of Christ’s love. The 2017 JRP awards were presented to SAA Alumna Jeanie Costa Torchio for her work with ALSAC and to Terry Lynch for his many philanthropic activities supporting the Memphis community.
Jeanie Torchio, who graduated from St. Agnes Academy in 1991, travels throughout the United States to increase awareness of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In her role as Sr. Liaison, Dinners/Galas/Golf with ALSAC, Mrs. Torchio is personally responsible for raising over $3 million dollars annually through a variety of fundraising events. She plays a pivotal role in the organization of numerous dinners, galas and golf tournaments hosted around the country, all to raise funds for St. Jude. She also supports other regions throughout the country serving as an advisor to local teams as they manage events that raise over $27 million annually.
“She touches so many people and families both in Memphis and the entire United States with her work,” said St. Agnes 7th grader Addie Heehs, who nominated Mrs. Torchio for the JRP Award. “She makes Memphis a great community and continues to give back to her passion. Jeanie is an amazing woman and should be recognized for her service.”
Terry Lynch, Managing Partner for Southland Development Partners, is a leader in numerous civic and service organizations and initiatives in the Memphis community. For the past eight years he has served on the Board of the Riverfront Development Corporation and is the Immediate Past Chair of the RDC. Mr. Lynch also serves on the Board of Leadership Memphis where his efforts are centered on long term planning, and he is a board member for the Levitt Shell where he chairs the strategic planning committee.
Committed to improving Memphis, he and his wife, Cathy lead the effort for public funding for the Hospitality Hub in downtown Memphis. The “HUB” serves the homeless of our city in many ways. Mr. Lynch is also a founding member of the South End Alliance, which directs strategic planning and actions within the South Main area. He is a co-founder of Monogram Foods where he is actively involved with their Monogram Loves Kids Foundation, which supports numerous children’s causes throughout the country where Monogram has operations.
During the presentation the students read the following combined quote, attributed to both Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis I. The students believe this quote sums up Jesus’ call to all of us, a call that Mrs. Torchio and Mr. Lynch answer every day.
"We need saints without cassocks, without veils. We need saints that wear jeans and tennis shoes, saints that go to the movies, listen to music, and hang out with their friends. We need saints that place God in first place ahead of succeeding in any career.
We need saints that look for time to pray every day. We need saints for the 21st century with spirituality appropriate for our new time. We need saints that have a commitment to helping the poor and to making the needed social changes to improve our world.
We need saints to live in this world, to sanctify the world and to not be afraid of living in the world by their presence in it. We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, eat hot dogs, surf the Internet, and talk on their iPhones. We need saints that love the Eucharist, who are not afraid or embarrassed to pray before eating a pizza with friends. We need saints who love dance, sports and theatre. We need saints who aren’t afraid to go out there and change the world."