Every year in the beginning of October, friends and family gather to celebrate a wonderful son, friend, scholar, and athlete; to honor his legacy. The foundation’s proudest day is when we have the ability to give others who embody Dan’s tenacity towards life, the recognition and appreciation they deserve.
Last year’s Gala was a tremendous success; one that would be difficult to improve upon. The Maritime Parc venue in Liberty State Park was magnificent with it’s views of the Freedom Tower, the Statue of Liberty, and the rejuvenated landscape that is waterfront of downtown Jersey City. The accommodations, food, and service were second to none.
The full fledged cocktail hour and sit down dinner format that was used last year went over big and will be retained again this year. This provided additional elegance to an already elegant evening adding immeasurably to the quality of the event.
Our “Distinguished Citizens” will have large shoes to fill but we are sure they will be up to the task. This year’s rounded foursome will be available soon.
Additionally, we will again have our popular “Tricky Tray” with raffle baskets which will alleviate some of the confusion at the end of the night.
Dan Finn 1980 – 2004
Dan is the second of three children born to Ed Finn, Sr. a retired Jersey City school teacher and member of referee board #33, and Mary Finn, a retired administrative assistant in the Campus Ministry office at St. Peter’s Prep, Dan’s alma mater. His older brother, Ed, Jr. is also a graduate of St. Peter’s Prep and Georgetown University and is currently Principal of The DMF Group, LLC in Boston. Maura graduated from St. Dominic Academy and is currently employed by the County of Hudson in Jersey City. She is a graduate of New Jersey City University, transferring after two years at NJIT.
Read Dan’s Story
With an illustrious career of service and dedication to the State of New Jersey and the United States of America, Gen. Grant serves as the Director, Joint Staff to The Adjutant General of New Jersey, serving dual roles of providing federal supervision to more than 8,300 members of the NJ Army and Air National Guard as well as monitoring State operations of the NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. His responsibilities include: the Joint Staff, Family Support, Fiscal Division, Installations, the NJ National Guard Training Center at Sea Girt, Ethics, the Office of Military Affairs, Public Affairs and the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. Gen. Grant received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant through the Officer Candidates School in 1982. Prior to his commission, the General served as an enlisted member in US Marine Corps serving from 1973 until 1975. Since 2008 he has been Chief of the Joint Staff, NJ National Guard at Fort Dix and NJDMVA, in Lawrenceville. He has been an avid supporter of the Dan Finn Classic serving as a member of our Board Of Trustees.
Longtime sports columnist for The Jersey Journal and larger-than-life figure in Hudson County, “The Faa” succumbed to a long illness and was lost to us all in 2011. Ford was the Asst. Director of the Jersey City Department of Recreation after a colorful career as a high school baseball coach, referee and Major League Baseball scout. “He had a heart of gold,” said Billy Blitzer, a scout with the Chicago Cubs. “He was great not only for the game but for the kids of Jersey City. He helped hundreds of kids throughout the years – putting them through school or buying equipment when they couldn’t afford it.” “The Faa” had a passion to build the characters of the youth he interacted with over his career. Ford, with his trademark wad in his cheek, was a fixture at local sporting events. He was a champion of local athletics and used the power of his popular column – Faa’s Corner – to advocate more funding for youth sports. Mr. Ford was known to spend 12 hours a day with “his kids.” In 2012 the Caven Point Athletic Complex was named after him. A true icon in Hudson County he impacted the lives of everyone he knew from those who have risen to prominence, to those who are just good people who had the fortune to be impacted by him.
For over 40 years, Bob Hurley’s teams have dominated high school basketball in New Jersey. His is a sustained excellence that has produced 27 state championships, more than any other HS program in history, and four national titles. He has been named National Coach of the Year four times. In 2011, Coach Hurley became the tenth coach in high school history to win 1,000 games, creating a national powerhouse despite having no true home court. Eight of his teams have gone undefeated. In 2010, he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame; only the third HS coach to be so honored. Hurley, with an uncompromising passion for basketball, has taken kids from the streets of New Jersey and transformed them into young men who just happen to play winning basketball. More than a coach to his players, he has been a teacher, a father figure, an advisor, and a friend. As a Coach he demands excellence, commitment, and sacrifice on and off the court. He has dedicated his life to being only the best in all of his endeavors. He is a loyal friend and Trustee of the DFC and we are honored to have him in our corner.
On August 12, 2004, Dan, a recent graduate of Fordham University, was struck by a hit and run driver while vacationing with his family in Myrtle Beach. He was pronounced dead two days later at the tender age of 23. A two sport athlete in high school having attained All State honors in soccer and All County in basketball, Dan was best known for his affable personality and willingness to help anybody, anywhere, anytime. Even in death he gave of himself through a donation of his organs. Dan’s Aunt Ellen was the recipient of one of Dan’s kidneys. The other kidney and pancreas were transplanted into a man who had suffered through nearly 20 years of dialysis. His heart is in the chest of a man from Charleston, S.C. Even the corneas of his eyes were used to improve the vision of a young boy in Pennsylvania. Dan continues to live on as “A Man For Others.” The Dan Finn Classic is symbolic of what he really stood for, helping others in their time of need.