December Donor of the Month – Lombardo & Sonta Family
December 2, 2017
A Family of Wildcats and Givers-- Passing the Torch from Generation to Generation
In 2017, the Sonta family--a
nd the Blue White Scholarship Foundation--lost two very special people: Mary Lombardo Sonta and John Sonta of Mantoloking, NJ. John Jr., the eldest of their three sons, lovingly described his parents as two extremely generous and caring people who were guided by their deep Catholic faith. Always family centered, Mary and John Sr. were the proud, devoted grandparents of seven grandchildren, who still mourn their absence. "Obviously, my parents cared deeply about our family, but they also cared about others, as well as charity, which included Villanova," said John.
The Sonta family’s connection with Villanova began a generation earlier, when Mary’s older brother, Robert Lombardo, attended the University (’62). The Wildcat spirit quickly spread to C. Jerome Lombardo, Mary’s father, who was an avid sports fan and later cultivated Villanova pride in Mary and John’s three boys: John, Jarret, and Justin. As a teenager, John fondly remembers watching basketball games with his grandfather, including the 1985 National Title run. When it came to choosing a college, Villanova was a natural choice for brothers John (’91) and Justin (’98), who returned to Villanova to earn his MBA in 2006. Jarret did not attend Villanova but instead completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Yale.
C. Jerome Lombardo’s love for Villanova did not stop at following the basketball team, but also extended to giving back to the community, with his beloved wife Louise at his side. John recalls that his grandparents always acted as a team, mutually helping others with both their time and resources. Evoking the Augustinian values of love and generosity, C.J. and Louise began the C.J. Lombardo Foundation and later became connected to the Blue White Foundation through his friendship with Bob Capone.
John and the family look forward to keeping Mary and John’s generous, kind-hearted legacy alive. Passing the values that have been instilled in them by their parents and grandparents to the younger generations is the best way to honor their legacy–family first, helping others, and supporting causes that were always dear to them, including Villanova and the Blue White. Scholarship Foundation. We are so grateful for this acceptance to pass the torch.
Following C.J. Lombardo's death in 1996, daughter Mary and husband John Sonta, along with Robert and brother Jerry Lombardo, kept his generous, community-centric legacy alive through the upholding of the foundation and continual support of the Blue White Scholarship Foundation. Son John recalls, "My mother liked the purpose of Blue and White because it helped people who wouldn't typically get a lot of help otherwise when it came to college tuition." She cherished the letters of gratitude she received from scholarship recipioents and was proud to be paying her blessings forward to help others in need. To the Lombardo and Sonta family, Villanova University is not just a school; it is a life-long community connection and commitment to service.
Today, both Mary and John's good intentions and memories live on, as John and the entire family adjusts to life without them. "The torch has been passed," said John, "not just with Blue and White, but with everything. We are the older generation now." Currently, John works as a software sales executive. He and his wife reside in NJ, raising triplets who have just completed their junior year in high school. (Naturally, they have interest in Villanova!). Jarret, Mary and John's second son, resides in Charleston, SC, and works as the Director of Communications at a college foundation. Justin, their third son, works as a financial advisor. He and his wife also reside in NJ and have four children, likewise potential future Wildcats.
John M. Romano attended Villanova University as a "day hop" from 1959-1963. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Villanova University in Industrial Administration. After serving in the Army National Guard, he worked for Sears Robuck and Company from 1964-1966. In 1966, he joined Mobile Oil Corporation and he retired in 1996. The last twelve years of his working career he served as Manager, Financial and Administrative Services with Mobil’s Mining and Minerals Division. His duties included credit management, company leased autos, and he was manager of the contract committee. In retirement John served as president of his local home owners association.
John wants to remind donors to take advantage of company matching gift programs. Exxon Mobile will match contributions up to $5000. John was a life long friend of Bobby Capone, the long-time executive director of the Blue White Club. They attended grade school, high school, and college together. To show you how times have changed, John included a copy of his first semester tuition bill, which was $360. John lives with his wife and family in Midlothian, Virginia. A special “Thanks” to John going back to his retired contacts and asking them to ask for a matching gift from Exxon to go to BWSF. To see if your company matches, please visit our website– Donate Tab-Employer Match Link– Simply type in your current / past company name. The answer will appear! How great is that?
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
A Tribute to Bob Capone
January 2, 2015
The Blue White Scholarship Foundation Named "2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit" by GreatNonprofits