Anna Maria Lopez
Anna Maria Lopez
At its second annual Champions of Faith banquet Oct. 2, Catholic Youth Organization/Camp Howard will induct two St. Mary's Academy alumnae into its Hall of Fame: Anna Maria Lopez and Karen Gaffney.

Lopez graduated from St. Mary's Academy in 1978 and went on to play volleyball and basketball for the University of Southern California. She also played volleyball professionally. She is currently in her 22nd year as St. Mary's Athletic Director, and she has been a faculty member since 1985.  

Gaffney graduated from St. Mary's in 1997 and went on to earn a two-year Associates of Science degree from Portland Community College in 2001. That same year, she swam the English Channel as part of a six-person relay team. Two years ago, she swam nine miles across Lake Tahoe to raise money for the National Down Syndrome Congress. Gaffney, who has Down Syndrome, is president of the nonprofit Karen Gaffney Foundation and travels the country speaking to audiences about overcoming limitations and about what can be accomplished when one maintains a positive outlook on life.

Both women were involved in athletics at St. Mary's, Lopez with volleyball, basketball, softball and track and Gaffney with swimming. Both were introduced to organized sports by CYO, Lopez at the Madeleine School and Gaffney at St. Pius X School.

"Every day, in ways both large and small, Anna Maria Lopez and Karen Gaffney model their CYO virtues and values through their spirit of generosity, their gifts of inspiration, the way they live their lives and how they give of themselves to others both as mentors and as examples of courage, dedication and perseverance. We feel blessed to know them and proud to honor them," said Lisa Bergeson, director of development at CYO/Camp Howard.