Bishop Donahue High School wishes to pay tribute to two of its students, Danielle Block and JoBeth Gross, who died along with Danielle’s father Courtney Block in a tragic plane crash on Coney Island, New York on May 21, 2005. Danielle and JoBeth, just 3 days short of their high school graduaion, exemplified the spirit of Catholic education and specifically the characteristics of Bishop Donahue. The girls were fast friends whose lives were dedicated to faith, hope, and love as well as service to the community. D and JB were cheerful and happy students who reached out to others in the school, community, and state. Always present with a kind word, a prayer or to volunteer their services, D and JB were special. They were true to one of the basic tenets of the Marist Youth Group to which they belonged: service to the most neglected.
Danielle and JoBeth loved BDHS and threw themselves totally into all aspects of school life: academics, sports, and extra-curricular activities. D and JB excelled in the classroom and each had received scholarships to local colleges. They both played volleyball, basketball and softball. If not competing themselves, you can bet they were lending their voices in support of their classmates in other sports or activities.
Danielle was raised from the cradle by her mother Jodi and father Courtney to put service to others before service to herself. Her parents modeled this for her throughout her life, always answering “YES” when requested to help out. Her father would do anything for others. If in God’s plan it was Danielle’s time, it is fitting that it be her father’s too, so that he could lead the way to heaven as he led her to a life of service in this life.
Jo Beth’s strength and stamina are the result of many difficulties her family has faced in her 18 years: Her father Bob was hurt in a work-related accident several years ago and has been on disability since. Her mother died of cancer six years ago and her grandfather is dying of cancer now. Her aunt, who had become her second mother, was fatally shot two years ago and a flood destroyed their home three years ago.
In view of this, and because people ask what can they do as they feel helpless before this terrible tragedy, we have created the “Angel Fund” in rememberance of Danielle and JoBeth.
This fund,will help make it possible for other students like JoBeth and Danielle to have the opportunity to attend Bishop Donahue High School. Therefore, we’d like to establish a fund in memory of the girls which would grant tuition assistance to students who cannot pay the full tuition.
Finally, if the Angel Fund grew large enough, the school would establish an endowment fund the name of JoBeth Gross and Danielle Block. Such an endowment fund would be the girls’ last and lasting gift to a school which gave them so much.
If you would like to make a gift to the Angel Fund please send your contributions to:
The Angel Fund
c/o Wesbanco, The CFOV Inc.
P.O. Box 3048
Wheeling, WV 26003
*Please contact the school if you would like more information.