The first annual I Heart NDP Breakfast, held Feb. 18


The first annual I Heart NDP Breakfast, held Feb. 18

Investing in education that promotes service to others was the central theme at the first annual I Heart NDP Breakfast, held Feb. 18 in the Dale M. Jensen Gymnasium on the Notre Dame Preparatory campus.

The keynote speaker was British Open Champion and NDP supporter Tom Lehman, who gave a moving talk on service. He told a heartwarming story about how he gave the caddie in his first big win, a cash tip that changed his life. “I realized then, that this is not about me,” Lehman said. “God has bigger plans than we can’t see, and our lives are meant for service to others.”

Additional speakers included president of the NDP advisory board Greg Gienko and students, senior Hale Stewart and junior Samantha Layne, who spoke eloquently about how NDP helped them gain confidence and, as Layne said, “find my voice.”

"I was struck by the great similarities in the reflections shared by Greg, Tom and our students," said NDP principal Jim Gmelich. "In particular, the transformational experience that an NDP education created for them or their children.”

Among the more than 250 people in attendance, were Mary Beth Mueller, superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona Cardinals Drew Butler, Bradley Sowell, Chandler Catanzoro, D.J. Humphries and Earl Watford. The Cardinals players ate breakfast with current NDP Varsity football players.

“We are so grateful for the partnership we have with Tom and Melissa Lehman,” said NDP director of advancement Lyric Naquin, who, along with her team, organized the event. “And for the Cardinals players who took time out of their schedule to visit with our students.”

Naquin also praised the generosity of Meridian West, the Hoebing Family, National Bank of Arizona, Sunset Wholesale and Chasse for their kind sponsorship of the event. “The relationship we have with our community is vital to our mission,” she said.

Revenues raised at this event supports the Saints Fund and is “part of our efforts to bring the NDP experience to a broader audience,” Gmelich said.

Friends of the Saints Fund can contribute throughout the year at or by contacting Genevieve Peterson at (480)634-8247.

Opened in 2002, Notre Dame Prep is a Catholic diocesan college preparatory high school with a co-ed enrollment of 904 students. The school has received national recognition for the caliber of its academic, athletics and arts programs.