On Saturday, June 22 in Spinelli’s in Lynnfield, East Boston Central Catholic held its third annual Legacy Gala. At the gala the school honored Ron Pardi, Joseph Ruggiero, and John Zirpolo for their contributions to the school and its future as the last remaining Catholic School in East Boston.
“This year we celebrate “A Legacy of Leadership, Service and Commitment” paying tribute to three extraordinary individuals, Mr. John Zirpolo, Mr. Joseph Ruggiero, and Mr. Ronald Pardi, who have given witness to lives of leadership, service, and commitment,” said EBCCS Principal Robert Casaletto. “This third Annual Gala provides the perfect backdrop to honor these three exceptional fathers who have taught each of us in our community of East Boston how some of the greatest lessons in life – personal leadership, dedicated service, and selfless commitment – can influence and uplift a community.”
Casaletto said Pardi, a longtime EBCCS music teacher and gym teacher, has been an inspiring presence for three generations of EBCCS students, families, and alumni.
“From the early days of the late 80’s as EBCCS’s volunteer basketball coach to the East Boston Little League, from helping in school shows to then directing them, from music teacher to gym teacher, from choir director to music director, from DJ to party host, you have brightened the lives of our community for thirty years bringing smiles and joy to peoples’ lives,” said Casaletto. “Life’s greatest milestones – weddings, births, communions, confirmations, and graduations have been celebrated accompanied by your music. You enliven a room and uplift a community. You have left an indelible mark on EBCCS. We are so grateful for your service and your musical talent that inspires all of us in so many ways. We are so grateful for the person of Ron Pardi.”
Casaletto said Ruggiero, who helps run EBCCS’s board, is an exceptional leader who has led a life rooted in the call to love and service to others.
“You embody all that is good about East Boston, giving back in countless ways to the community you have helped shape these many years,” said Casaletto of Ruggiero. “You are a testament to going beyond the call of duty and giving of yourself in ways few others ever have in this community. Your service and commitment to East Boston is simply unmatched. You have touched the lives of so many people through your ministry as a funeral director, comforting and consoling families at their time of greatest loss. Your service to local Eastie organizations, large and small, reflect the essence of who you are as a person – kind and caring, generous beyond measure. You are a true loyal son of East Boston who has made our community a better place to live, work and raise a family. We have witnessed in you the qualities so needed in the world today. You are an inspiration to us all.”
As for Zirpolo, Casaletto said as a loyal alumnus of EBCCS, Zirpolo has given selflessly to his school, his neighbors, his Church, and his community.
“You embody all that is good about East Boston, giving back in ways to ensure that kindness and caring, giving and serving are values will live on in Eastie,” said Casaletto. “In quiet and impactful ways, you have touched the lives of others at times when others couldn’t or wouldn’t. Even as God has blessed you in so many ways, you have not forgotten your roots and the people who gave you a helping hand along the way. You are a true loyal son of East Boston who has made our community a better place to live, work and raise a family. We have witnessed in you the qualities so needed in the world today – faith, service, family, and community. Indeed, we are proud to call you our own.”