There were many winners in Thomas Aquinas College’s 2021 Alumni Giving Weekend — most notably the Class of 2013, which won the competition for highest participation rate, and TAC students, who will benefit from nearly $150,000 in philanthropy. Yet worthy of special mention are Cynthia (DeLuca ’88) and Tony Montanaro (’82), who are headed on a luxurious, post-pandemic, seven-day cruise for two on Holland America Line.

“To encourage alumni involvement, a generous benefactor gave the College a certificate for a free cruise for two, which we raffled off among those who contributed $50 or more,” says Vice President Paul J. O’Reilly. “Then, to sweeten the pot, we gave a second entry to all members of the class with the highest participation rate.”

The Montanaros, however, didn’t need a second entry. Their one raffle ticket was enough to claim the prize. “We were happy to give to the College,” says Mrs. Montanaro. “The cruise was not at all why we gave, and we had no expectation of winning — Anthony didn’t even know there was a cruise!”

He does now. “We are so excited about this,” Mrs. Montanaro continues. “We’ve never won anything in our lives! We’re so happy to make this our summer vacation.”

The Montanaros, who live near the College’s California campus in Fillmore, are parents of four children, two of whom are fellow alumni, and one who is a current student.

“We’re delighted to see a loyal, two-generation TAC family win the cruise,” says Dr. O’Reilly. “I hope they have a wonderful vacation — they deserve it!”