Some 1,200 Boston College alumni and friends gathered in the McElroy Commons Carney Dining Hall to hear Harrington discuss plans for the proposed baseball facility. The current Fenway Park had been the setting the previous day for another major Alumni Association event, the 12th annual Second Helping Gala, sponsored with the Greater Boston Food Bank.
Fenway, Harrington noted, opened during the same week in 1912 that the Titanic was lost. Efforts to replace the structure began as early as 1965, he said, and the Red Sox recently introduced a plan to build a new Fenway - complete with its trademark "Green Monster" left field wall - in the same Kenmore Square neighborhood as the venerable old ballyard.
In addition to his work as the team's top executive officer, Harrington has been active in a number of community and charitable activities. Among these are a "Read Your Way to Fenway" program that rewards Boston public school children with a trip to a Red Sox game for demonstrating improved reading skills.
"John Harrington has a tremendous dedication to the City of Boston," said University President William P. Leahy, SJ. "He is a powerful example of what we strive to do at Boston College, and that is to share our gifts with others."
John Harrington at the April 2 Laetare Sunday breakfast.
"God has given me some great opportunities," explained Harrington, noting that the education he received at Boston College "has been the bedrock of my fortunes throughout my life."
Harrington also received a master's degree in business administration from BC in 1966 and taught financial management in the Carroll School of Management for five years before becoming treasurer of the Red Sox in 1973. "I loved teaching and I was overwhelmed to have the chance to teach at my alma mater," he said. "But someone once told me that 'You can never get to second base if you don't take your foot off first base.'"
Included among the record-setting attendance at the annual mid-Lenten breakfast were 104 members of the Class of 1950, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its graduation this year.
The breakfast followed a Laetare Sunday Mass at St. Ignatius Church sponsored by the Silver Anniversary Class of 1975. Fr. Leahy served as a concelebrant along with Rev. Martin Hyatt '75 and Bishop Joseph F. Maguire '41.
The Second Helping Gala at the Fenway 600 Club raised $125,000 in support of the Second Helping program, which collects unused food from hotels, restaurants and corporate cafeterias and delivers hot meals to emergency feeding shelters in Eastern Massachusetts.
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