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Iona Preparatory Announces Honorees for the President’s Dinner Centennial Gala

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Iona Preparatory Announces Honorees for the President’s Dinner Centennial Gala

November 11, 2017 - 06:44

Iona Preparatory Announces Honorees for the President’s Dinner Centennial Gala

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Iona Preparatory School has announced the honorees for its President’s Dinner Centennial Gala to be held on Friday, November 17, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Iona Prep is enhancing its annual President’s Dinner with a new venue and will honor two influential individuals in the community: husband and wife, Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. and Margaret (Peggy) Parlatore Kelly.

Iona Preparatory became the second Christian Brother school in the United States—and third in North America—when it opened its doors on Oct. 16, 1916, to 37 young men in grades 1-9. The Iona School was to be a beacon of faith formation and educational excellence. Today, it continues to be a center for faith and learning, with graduating classes having earned more than $65 million in academic scholarships to top-tier colleges and universities across the country over the past three years.

“This has been a celebration more than a century in the making,” President Brother Thomas Leto said, “and who better to steward the culmination of our festivities than two former board members, two alumni parents, two individuals who, together, have done so much not only for Iona Preparatory School, but for Catholic education and the youth of our area.”

Margaret and Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. ’76, P’05,’12 are the quintessential Centennial couple.

Together, they have welcomed the Holy See to New York, brought the 2014 Super Bowl to the tristate area and organized it, and served on countless boards. Each has served terms on our Board of Directors, and Al was also the inaugural president of Iona Preparatory's Alumni Association.

They are, first and foremost, the proud parents of two Gaels and three Gryphons. Alfred III '05 and Jack '12 are now members of the alumni association their father founded, while sisters Kaitlin and Maggie are School of the Holy Child Alumnae and Lizzie is a Holy Child eighth grader.

All the while, Peggy and Al have been involved in their children's education...and faith formation. Peggy had previously served on the Board of Directors for Holy Child for ten years, and was recently re-elected. She served two, four-year terms on Iona Preparatory's Board of Directors, along with multiple terms on the Saints John and Paul Parents Association Board. Likewise, Al did a tour of duty on the Iona Prep Board from 2007 to 2010, serving as chair for a portion of his term, and was previously chair of the Holy Child board.

Devout Catholics, Al and Peggy are supporters of the Cardinal’s Stewardship Campaign, the annual Alfred E. Smith Dinner, Saint Joseph’s Seminary and College and the Westchester County Inner Scholarship Fund.

As Iona Preparatory concludes its 100th anniversary celebration, there are no more loyal friends, generous supporters and loving parents than Al and Peggy Kelly.

“For an institution to thrive, prosper and grow over a century speaks volumes about its mission and work; Iona Prep has contributed significantly to shaping the lives and establishing lifelong friendships for thousands of men,” Mr. & Mrs. Kelly said. “We are thrilled and honored to be a small part of this Centennial celebration for a special place.”

In a unique honor, Mr. Kelly served as the full-time Chairman of the 2015 Papal Visit to New York City, working closely with Cardinal Dolan and the United States Secret Service in planning His Holiness’ two-day visit.  He was also the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the 2014 NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Company (SBHC), which raised a record $80 million to fund regional support of the game, along with more than $13 million in charitable contributions to improve facilities used by school-age children.

A Port Chester, N.Y. native, Peggy attended the School of the Holy Child in Rye and then Iona College in New Rochelle, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA.  She worked in various finance positions at PepsiCo, Castle Coal and Oil, CBS and the American University in Washington, D.C., until her first child was born and when she decided to be a full-time mother.

In 2015 Peggy, along with Al, was honored by Pope Francis by being named to the Order of St. Gregory the Great; in that same year, Peggy was awarded the Holy Child Medal.

Al, born and raised in Crestwood, N.Y., graduated from Iona Prep in 1976 and went on to Iona College, where he graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s and an MBA with Honors. His first position out of college was at PepsiCo where he worked in Strategic and Financial Planning. Then from 1985 to 1987, he went to the White House, where he led the Information Processing functions for eight of the agencies that comprise the Executive Office of the President.

From there he joined American Express’ Strategic Planning department and rose through the company over the course of 23 years, ultimately becoming president and leading the day-to-day global operations. Today, he is the Chief Executive Officer of Visa, a global payments technology company which operates in 210 countries and territories. 

Al is a member of the Board of Directors of MetLife, Inc. and Visa, Inc., the Board of Trustees of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Boston College, and St. Joseph’s Seminary and College.  He is a member of the Archdiocese of New York’s Finance Council, the Council on Foreign Relations and has served for the past 25 years as a chairman of the Wall Street Charity Golf Classic, which supports the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  He was a 13-year trustee of Iona College, where he also chaired its Development Committee.

Peggy and Al currently reside in Rye, N.Y.

Iona Prep’s President’s Dinner Centennial Gala will be held on Friday, November 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Cipriani 42nd Street, located at 110 East 42nd Street in New York City. The evening will begin with a cocktail hour followed by dinner. Individual tickets start at $500 per person; RSVP by November 1 at www.IonaPrep.org/centennialgala. Sponsorships are also available. For more information, please contact Amy Parise, Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events, at (914) 600-6182 or [email protected].

Iona Prep is Westchester’s only all-boys K-12 Catholic institution to make the “Best Catholic High Schools in New York State” and “Best Private High Schools in New York State” on Niche.com.