By Laura Lennie, News Staff
Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School’s fitness centre is looking better than ever thanks to a healthy contribution from its alumni.
The centre recently welcomed about 30 pieces of new equipment made possible through a $25,000 donation from the DeFaveri and Gazzola families, who own and operate Superior Boiler Works and Welding in Stoney Creek.
“Our equipment was pretty old, so to have it replaced has been really great for our community,” principal Michael Gravina said. “We’re just so gracious for their generosity. We always take pride in the excellence that exists here and a lot of that is because of the relationships that we are able to forge with our community.”
Cardinal Newman transportation technology teacher John Ivkovic is friends with Newman graduates David DeFaveri and Loris Gazzola. DeFaveri is vice-president of field services for Superior and Gazzola is vice-president of manufacturing for the company.
Ivkovic said the graduates were looking for a way to give back to their alma mater.
He approached physical education and co-instructional department head teacher Anthony Macaluso about the fitness centre and possible need for new equipment.
Ivkovic and Macaluso then worked together with physical education teachers Gerry Moretuzzo and Andrew Sergi to devise a wish list of equipment.
Ivkovic said Superior has an excellent reputation and is also a very generous organization.
“David and Loris wanted to reach out to the community and I could see that a need existed in our fitness centre. I thought, ‘If I could broker this, connect the two, it would be a perfect fit,’ and it was,” he said. “With the large selection of equipment we were able to access, we were actually able to design and create a professional floor plan that best fits the needs of our school community. We were able to not only better the quality, but also increase the quantity of fitness equipment to appeal to a wider range of needs and achieve an environment that is completely inclusive.”
DeFaveri said it feels good to be able to give back.
“We graduated 25 years ago with many fond memories,” he said. “Cardinal Newman is a great school. We are proud to be able to give something back and through John’s help, we were able to facilitate that, which is fantastic.”
Macaluso said the improved fitness centre has been a win-win for everybody.
“We actually have classes that use the centre, so it’s allowed us to go to that next level in terms of us offering programs in the classroom. It’s also helped us with our sports teams, who are now using state-of-the-art equipment to enhance their physical fitness level,” he said. “Across the board, it’s been awesome. The donation that they’ve made for us has really helped our school.”
Macaluso said the response from students and staff has been “phenomenal.”
“Our gym memberships have gone up,” he said. “We’ve also seen a jump in staff who want to use the equipment after school and want to supervise. Everything has just grown and elevated because of their generosity.”