Active community and school volunteer JoAnn Ahearn of Briarcliff Manor has been named Archbishop Stepinac High School’s 2013 Mother of the Year.
She will be honored on Sunday, April 14, 12 to 4 p.m. during the Lady Crusaders Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Renaissance Westchester Hotel in West Harrison. The Lady Crusaders includes mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers and other female guardians, who provide fundraising and social events to raise money for the school.
“Stepinac High School has had such a resounding positive effect on the lives of my sons over the years,” Ahearn said. “So, being honored as Mother of the Year means a lot to me and I am happy to continue my efforts for the betterment of the school.”
JoAnn Ahearn and husband, Joe, have three sons who have all graduated from the high school: Joey Ahearn in 2003, Danny Ahearn in 2005 and Mikey in 2009.
She began her volunteerism at the Scarborough Presbyterian Nursery School in 1988, helping pre-school children for two years. When her first-born son, Joey, began school at St. Theresa School in Briarcliff Manor in 1989, she volunteered to be Class Mom and worked in the school’s cafeteria.
She continued the Class Mother role for her other two sons when they enrolled in the school, from 1989 through 2005. Ahearn ran the lunch program for St. Theresa School for 10 years. She was also part of the Home School Association, not only as a participant, but also as part of the board for two years.
Throughout the past 14 years, Ahearn has participated in a wide array of activities and events at the school, from planning teachers’ luncheons and other events to planting flowers around the school. For the past three years, she has volunteered with Stepinac High School’s Public Relations Committee.
Ahearn’s work with Stepinac High School in White Plains began in 1999, when her son Joey enrolled. She became an active member of the Lady Crusaders Club and later took on other roles within the club, including hospitality chairperson, vice president and president. Throughout the years, she worked at the school’s Christmas Fair and was team mom for the Junior Varsity and Varsity Lacrosse and Hockey teams.
In 1992, Joey was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, and that is when Ahearn became involved in helping parents cope with their newly diagnosed children at Westchester Medical Center and Northern Westchester Hospital.
Some of her other volunteer work includes teaching the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) at the Church of Magdalene in Pocantico Hills between 2005 and 2008.
She notes one of the most memorable events she participated in the school: “It was a fundraiser for Nick Springer, who was my son Joey’s classmate. He contracted a meningitis virus, which resulted in his losing his arms and legs. The money raised from the event was used to purchase prosthetics from him. It was an amazing event with over 1,000 people at the Rye Town Hilton, including school athletes and even professional basketball players, hockey players, radio announcers and actors.”
Founded in 1948, Archbishop Stepinac High School’s mission is to offer young men a highly competitive academic and extracurricular program that will prepare them for college and leadership roles. The faculty and staff accomplish these objectives by pursuing excellence and creating a supportive, disciplined atmosphere with a strong sense of camaraderie and Christian values that are unique to the Stepinac experience.