LuHi was honored to celebrate its 2020 Alumni of the Year during weekly virtual Chapel service on May 6. Since 1993, this annual award has recognized those who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements, commitment to their churches and communities, and continued involvement at LuHi. The awards were delivered to honorees a week before the Chapel service and each honoree sent in a recorded video to address the student body. LuHi’s Applied Christianity class, as well as teachers Jean Benincasa and Joseph Baumgarn, included the awards piece into the Chapel service. Honorees used the school year theme of Light and the scripture for the day as part of the theme of their acceptance speeches.
LuHi’s virtual Chapel is shared on YouTube every Wednesday at 10:00 am. On May 6, LuHi alumni Jim Mason recalled the early years when gym classes were held in the hallway, and lunch was dispensed from a food vending machine. James Farrell remembered the 80s as a time when LuHi alumni, parents, and teachers worked hard to keep the school as a place for learning, scripture, and family, making LuHi what it is today. Roy Labrador shared what LuHi means to him in three words, Family, Pride, and Honored. He commended the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams for their fantastic seasons, albeit disappointing without their chance at a State Federation Championship this year. And, he acknowledged the senior class and the changes this pandemic has meant for the culmination of their years at LuHi. He reminded students to stay involved even after graduation and to remember Luke 12:48, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” To view this special Chapel service click HERE
Lori (Sauter) Mason ’72 & James B. Mason ’71
Lori and Jim came from different towns and different faiths, but they made their connection at LuHi. Lori was into sports - basketball, field hockey, softball. She also sang in the choir and was the school store manager. Jim helped build the first portable stage at LuHi and was the school store manager for two years. While at LuHi, Jim’s love for photography grew as he learned from Roger Ressmeyer ‘71, LuHi alumnus who would become a world-renowned photographer.
Both Jim and Lori attended Concordia College in Bronxville. Jim went on to work as a foreign exchange broker for 27 years. He retired as a Senior VP in 1997 and then went on to work for GEICO for another 15 years. Lori went on to graduate from Mercy College and worked for Nassau BOCES for 27 years as a Physical Therapist Assistant, treating physically challenged children.
Their son Keith graduated from LuHi in 1997 where he also met his wife, Katy Nee ’99. They have brought two grandchildren to the family, where the oldest has enjoyed LuHi Summer Camp for the past 2 years. Jim and Lori agree, “(LuHi) is our extended family. We have made so many new friends over the past 50+ years. We really love working with Jane Lottes and her development team.” On a sweet, historical side note, Jim and Lori started the first homecoming reception in the mansion courtyard around 1980 which has grown into the largest alumni event we host each year. Lori and Jim are both active at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Plainview where they are involved in choir, church council(VP and Pres), ushering, altar guild, and directing church dinners throughout the church year.
James Farrell, Jr. ’86
Jim Farrell graduated from LuHi in 1986 and was a three-sport athlete with five years of Varsity Golf, four years of Varsity Football, and two years of Varsity Wrestling. He attended Dean Junior College where he played Varsity Football and then went on to Pittsburg State University. Farrell became a Golf Professional in 1990 and has worked at several golf courses, starting out as an assistant golf pro in Kansas and today as Director of Golf at the Hamlet Golf and Country Club in Commack.
Farrell’s honors include the 2004 Callaway Golf Professional of the Year and winner of over 30 PGA Section Events in two different PGA Sections. He has played in over 10 Hogan Tour/ Nationwide Tour/ Buy.Com Tour events and is a four-time Assistant Player of the Year Award winner. Other titles include the 2001 Midwest Section Match Play Champion, 2002 Midwest Section Championship Champion, 2009 Metropolitan Section Team Championship Champion, and most recently, 2015 Long Island Open Golf Champion, and 2018 Treiber Senior Champion.
At LuHi, Farrell came back and served as the LuHi Varsity Wrestling Coach from 2010 - 2018. He coached both the 2012 and 2013 IPSAAL/PSAA undefeated Wrestling Teams. Under his leadership, the wrestling Crusaders garnered 2011 4th Place NYS Private School Championship (two individual State Champions), 2012 2nd Place NYS Private School Championship (four individual State Champions), 2013 1st place NYS Private School Champions (six individual State Champions). In 2013, he was voted IPSAAL/PSAA Coach of the Year and was also inducted into the LuHi Athletic Hall of Fame.
Jim and his wife Amy will be married 27 years this November and have three children – James, a 2014 LuHi Graduate, Patrick, and Natalie, a current LuHi junior.
Roy Labrador ’84
Roy Labrador was born and raised on Long Island. Prior to attending LuHi for his junior and senior years, he attended Bayport-Blue Point High. He played basketball for Coach Bob McKillop at LuHi for two years and was captain of the varsity team his senior season. Roy received a scholarship from Dowling College in Oakdale, NY where he received his BBA in 1988.
At times throughout those years, LuHi was Roy’s home away from home. He would often arrive on campus at 7 am to get some shots up or would actually stay in the mansion during the many summers he coached and ran transportation at LuHi Summer Camp. Taking the LIRR to Hicksville during his first year at LuHi made for interesting days, waiting on 106 for his ride to LuHi. The lasting impact LuHi left on Roy has led him in faith, service, and excellence in many areas of his life.
Roy moved to South Florida after college where he found his first job in telecommunication sales with Metromedia. Roy has had an outstanding career in the communications field, currently as Executive Vice President of IOT & Partnerships with FreeCast, Inc. Roy serves on the Board for the RIPITT Foundation as Vice President (www.ripitt.org
) and is also a founder. RIPITT is focused on impacting and developing young lives through sports. The foundation has been able to create funding for scholarships at Florida State University and provide funding for other charities focused on kids.
Roy spent 10 years as an assistant basketball coach at Montverde Academy from 2005-2015. There he coached some of the NBA’s best young talent in Ben Simmons and D’Angelo Russell, along with 90 other D1 or D2 basketball scholarship award winners. Following Montverde, Roy coached at The First Academy in Orlando until his full-time position took him to the Tampa area.
Roy married his almost high school sweetheart, Anissa, and they have two adult children, Karina and Jake. Celebrating 30 years of marriage this year, he credits a strong relationship with Christ as one of the things that have guided him along the way in his life, marriage, and career. Roy and his wife reside in the Tampa Bay area and attend Radiant Church – The Heights while still connected to Life Bridge Church in Orlando, where both of his children live and attend.