On Saturday, October 18, the Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens hosted a brunch at the Savoy Tavern in Merrick, Long Island, to benefit the Detective Thomas Wesley Higdon Jr. Performing Arts Center at St. Clare Catholic Academy in Rosedale, Queens.
The Arts Center was the brainchild of Constance Higdon, who created the fund as a way to memorialize her son, Thomas, a much-loved New York City detective who graduated from St. Clare.
“We are amazed by the kindness of Connie,” said Nick Vendikos, Director of Development of Catholic Foundation. “Her ability to set aside her grief for the benefit of her son’s alma mater is inspiring.”
Thomas, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 38, had a passion for illustrating. His family felt that establishing an Arts Center in his name was the perfect way to honor his memory.
“This is not a sad day for me,” said Ms. Higdon at the event, held in conjunction with the five-year anniversary of her son’s passing. “The spirit of Tommy lives on in our hearts.” Ms. Higdon went on to say how Tommy and his siblings benefited from receiving a Catholic education. “A Catholic education,” she said, “helped mold Tommy’s character and distinguish between right and wrong.”
Principal Mary Rafferty-Basile, who attended the function, expressed her gratitude to the Higdon family for establishing the fund and creating the Arts Center, which has become a haven for St. Clare students and for creativity.