Amanda Weber and Becky Benowicz go back a long way.
They were second grade classmates at the Shoemaker School and later attended Pickering Junior High School together.
“We’ve been friends essentially since we were born and our families have known each other forever,” says Weber.
They split apart in high school, Weber taking her scholastic and athletic talents to the Pingree School in South Hamilton, Benowicz opting to attend Lynn English High School where she was a star swimmer, played soccer and was a top student.
Weber played varsity ice hockey at Williams College where she majored in Art History and Psychology. Benowicz was a swimmer at Cornell University in the Division 1 Ivy League.
They have reunited for a great organization that advances academic and athletic achievement. As scholar-athletes with degrees from two of the most highly selective colleges in the country, they are emblematic of the Agganis ideal and fully deserving of the honor they now hold as members of the Agganis Foundation Board of Trustees.
Edward Grant, president of the Agganis Foundation, affirms that the two talented young women and former Agganis All-Star athletes and scholarship recipients are a perfect fit to the organization’s mission.
“No two individuals better personify the Agganis ideals of academic and athletic achievement,” said Grant.. “Amanda and Becky are not just role models for young women. They are role models – period.”
Weber, 32, is a student assistance counselor at Gloucester High School and also works in the oncology clinic at Exeter Hospital.
Benowicz, 33, works at New Balance where is a manager of licensing and brand extension. She majored in Economics at Cornell.
Both women said they were honored when Grant approached them about becoming Agganis trustees.
“I felt really honored,” said Weber. “I felt I was in a place in my life where I really wanted to give back to the community, especially in the area where I grew up,” said Weber. “Ted presented me with an opportunity and asked me at exactly the right time in my life.”
“I think it’s a great foundation and it means a lot to the city of Lynn and the Greater Boston area for athletes,” said Benowicz. “It’s a great story. When Amanda and Ted asked me to be a part of it, I was thrilled because I was at a point where I felt that Lynn had treated me well and I enjoyed growing up here and all the diversity the community brings and then to be able to give back in a way that’s meaningful for other student-athletes – it’s a great cause. I look forward to continuing to contribute.”
Weber said that she and Benowicz will bring some new vigor and a different perspective to the Foundation.
“I feel it’s a turning point in the Foundation and bringing Becky and me on board has shaken things up in a way that’s new and exciting,” said Weber.
“It’s been interesting to see the way these guys work and are so integrated in to the community,” said Benowicz. “Not living in Lynn, it’s something I admire that they have so many contacts and kept in touch and have a network to their careers and their lives in Lynn. I think Amanda and I bring a little bit of different perspective which is good for the Foundation.”
Their families take pride in the accomplishments of these philanthropic women. Amanda has two sisters, Pingree School graduates Gretchen and Meghan. Becky has two older sisters, English graduates Sarah Kalapinski and Leah Kalapinski Warren, who is married to noted Lynn Classical softball coach and the Bulldogs’ Super Bowl quarterback Chris Warren.
There is some additional joy coming shortly to their respective families. Both Amanda and her husband, Peter Angelli, a former soccer standout at St. Mary’s High School and St. Anselm College, and Becky and her husband, Scott, a soccer player and javelin thrower at Cornell, are expecting parents for the first time.
Perhaps the Weber-Angelli and Kalapinski-Benowicz offspring will carry on the tradition and one day be Agganis All-Star All-Stars and Scholars – and Trustees.