By Kieran Rodriguez ’18
Braving stormy conditions of Long Island’s tumultuous southern shore, hundreds of runners flocked to Lido Beach on Saturday, May 13, 2017 to partake in the Ace in the Hole Foundation’s eighth annual Beach Run and Walk. Joined together in honor of one of Chaminade’s Gold Star Alumni, 1st Lt. Michael LiCalzi, USMC ’00, the determined travelers endured a challenging two-mile race.
The Ace in the Hole Foundation was founded in memory of Lt. LiCalzi, who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to its website (www.aceintheholefoundation.org), the organization seeks to “honor and remember the sacrifice” of this courageous soldier. Every year, marines and civilians alike band together to pay tribute to their fallen brother in arms.
Chaminade students and alumni, bearing their crimson and gold proudly, lined the beach in support and remembrance of the fallen Flyer. For the fifth consecutive year, Mr. William Carriero ’69 led the contingent from the track club. Mr. Carriero, who also serves as a coach for Chaminade’s cross country team, knew Michael from his participation in the sport while at Chaminade. Even in incessant rain and heavy winds, the Flyers were ready for the challenge.
Prior to the start, Mr. Carriero gave an important and inspirational reminder to his runners, reminding them that “Although two miles may be difficult for some, the time we take out of our day to run pales in comparison to the sacrifice Michael made for our country.”
Colin Lawless ’19, a participant in the event, echoed those sentiments, saying, “Running these two miles is for a great cause. Plus, seeing the military support at the event was incredibly inspiring.”
Year after year, the Ace in the Hole Foundation reminds us all of the courage and selflessness of Lt. LiCalzi. The annual Beach Run and Walk is a way for many people, including members of the Chaminade family, to pay their respects to a honorable alumnus of the school. We must be eternally grateful for the sacrifice of this lieutenant who left his mark on the world as a true Chaminade Man, and continue to show our steadfast support to honoring his memory.