Over $1300 Raised for Jack Washington Wonderful World Fund


The students who helped out with the miracle minute with Mr.Weiss.

Danielle Lippert, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

For this year’s Catholic Schools Week, Notre Dame focused on the Jack Washington Wonderful World Fund, a fundraiser to aid students handicapped by poverty.

Two theology teachers, Scott Mallien and Peter Weiss, organized the drive.

I am a teacher because of the encouragement of Mr. Jack Washington. He saw something in me that I did not see in myself.  My repayment to him is to never forget the positive influence we have on the lives of the young people we teach and work with everyday,” wrote Mr. Mallien in an email to the staff.  

Washington, a public school administrator who died unexpectedly in 2003, was born in Mississippi, one of six children in his family. His family later moved to New York for more opportunities. Washington’s father was in and out of work, and his mother would do others’ laundry and set up pins at a local bowling alley to get money.

In other words, Washington knew what it was like to not have a lot of money growing up.

Washington dreamt of a better future and went on to become a teacher, coach and  school administrator at Washington Middle School, Southwest High School and East High School. Through these positions, he saw all of the hardships that students went through.

One boy who wanted to join the basketball team became the inspiration of the fund.  The boy couldn’t join because he didn’t have the money to pay the activity fee and buy shoes. Washington later found out that he, his dad and his brother lived in their car.

Washington knew he had to do something to help the many homeless students in the area. He decided to start the Jack Washington Wonderful World Fund, named after the song “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.

Washington was never able to carry out his dream. He died from a heart attack a week after he thought of the fund. Fortunately, he had told his wife and others his dream to help less fortunate students.

The Jack Washington Wonderful World Fund has helped thousands of students reach their full potential and follow their dreams to a better future.

Every year a college scholarship is given to a high school student who took after Washington by overcoming difficulties and is committed to treating others with compassion. The annual scholarship rotates among Green Bay high schools, including Notre Dame.  In fact, this year the recipient will be a senior from NDA.

The fund helps pay for school supplies, clothing and personal hygiene items, but the fund also helps with medical treatments, shelter, activity fees, dental care and CNA classes. The fund helps over 500 students per year.

Washington was also a Notre Dame parent. His son Austin Washington graduated from Notre Dame and went on to play basketball at Saint Norbert’s.

The proceeds from last week’s bracelet sales and “miracle minute” will be donated to the Jack Washington Wonderful World Fund.

According to Mr. Weiss, over $1300 was collected and will be added to the Wonderful World Fund.