Coach Lavin makes donation to STJ Bread and Life

Men’s basketball head coach Steve Lavin is giving back to the community that has welcomed him with open arms as the savior of the Red Storm. Lavin and his wife, Mary Jarou, donated $10,000 to St. John’s Bread and Life in Brooklyn Tuesday, matching a donation made by BTIG Brokerage LLC.

Company co-founder Steven Starker, Bread and Life executive director Anthony Butler, director of Athletics Chris Monasch and senior forward Rob Thomas were all on hand to help Lavin present the gift.

BTIG, an international brokerage firm, had raised the money during their eighth annual “Commissions for Charity” Trading Day on May 6, 2010. During the event, the company traded 200 million shares and donated more than $4 million to more than 100 children’s charities.

Lavin participated in the day alongside many notable and local celebrities, including Michael J. Fox, Matt Dillon, NY Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin, and Bruce Beck of NBC 4.

At the event, Lavin spoke of the great “collaborative spirit” he felt at Bread and Life, and how that feeling helped draw him to the University.

“One of the many aspects that attracted Mary and I to St. John’s is the commitment to the University’s mission of service, and the curriculum really being taught on the front lines to our students in terms of serving others,” he said.

He and his wife also pledged to give $5,000 a year to the soup kitchen for the remainder of Lavin’s five season contract with the University. Sarker thanked the first-year coach for his generous donation and expressed a desire to continue the partnership.

“Our Commissions for Charity Day increases in popularity each year with more celebrities in attendance and more of our clients significantly increasing their trading volumes to support our chosen charities,” he said. “We look forward to exciting things in the future.”

Butler commended Lavin, the basketball team and the University community as a whole for their continuing work with the center.

“St. John’s Bread and Life relies on the support of St. John’s University,” said Butler. “This is another example of how St. John’s takes that Vincentian spirit – that spirit of giving, that spirit of enabling people to take care of their own lives – and manifests it in the real world.”