40th Annual Legacy Gala
February 23, 2019
Silent Auction at 6:00 p.m., Dinner at 7:00 p.m.
Omni Nashville Hotel
Celebrating the Charity and Service of
Lucy (Davis) '78 and Marty Blair
 For more details, please contact Angie (Jacobson) Coffey '95 at coffeya@fatherryan.org.
Leaving Benchmarks on our Hearts
Think about the last invitation you received to a Catholic-sponsored event in the Diocese of Nashville. Whose names were on that event’s committee, and on the one before that, and on the one before that?  
 
And when you attend any of those events, who’s always there, enthusiastic in their support, generous with their gifts, and beaming with proud smiles?
 
From the reception to support the Endowment for the Advancement of Catholic Schools (EACS) to the installation of our bishop to our diocesan classrooms and athletic fields, Lucy (Davis) ’78 and Marty Blair have lived their names, loudly "blairing" a call for our support of Catholic education and celebrating their faith with the entire community. And they have done so because they have seen first-hand the benefits of that faith-filled life.
 
For these and many other reasons, Father Ryan is proud to announce that the Blairs are the 2019 Legacy Gala Honorees.
 
A Lifetime of Support
While Lucy and Marty are quick to ask “Why honor us?”, the rest of our community is just as quick to say how deserving they are. Just look at the list. Both of them products of Catholic education—Marty in Cincinnati as a youngster and Lucy at Christ the King and Father Ryan—the Blairs have put themselves square in the middle of our Catholic community. After each graduated from Tennessee Tech and after time spent in Clearwater, FL, they found their way home, and the Catholic community drew them in. Lucy taught for 17 years at St. Henry, imparting both the lessons of the textbooks and the example of her and her family’s lives to the young boys and girls there. Marty, who has been involved in so many things Irish that people are stunned to learn that he didn’t GO to Father Ryan, became Chief Operating Officer of Star Physical Therapy, and when he wasn’t building that business, he was building relationships throughout the community as a coach, a parishioner, as a vocal supporter (“can I get a BAM!?), as a volunteer.
 
Both Lucy and Marty will tell you that they do all these things because they can’t say no; but they also tell you that saying “no” isn’t an option when the ask is so compelling.
 
“We are honored to be a part of the 2019 Legacy Gala and to lend our names and our presence to this important event and this outstanding school,” Lucy said. “The Catholic community overall, and Father Ryan in particular, has been such a gift to us, that anything we can do to help, we want to do.”
 
In talking about Father Ryan, where their children graduated—Ryan in 2007 and Erin in 2009—they talk about the impact the school continues to have on these two. “Father Ryan has always led when change needed to happen,” Marty said, “and as a result, the kids learn to give. I know Ryan and Erin are living the mission, sometimes without even knowing they are, and it is rooted in that tradition of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”
 
The source of that is Catholic education, which they say was always the easiest check to write. And the reasons have been on display for years.
 
“I was in a fraternity at Tennessee Tech with Paul Davis '81 and John Howington '81 and Mark Sharp '81 and Tim Hoots '81,” Marty says. “Outstanding men, each one. But the thing that impressed me was the connection they all exhibited to each other because of where they went to school, and the commitment each had to lives of service because of what they had been taught at their parochial schools and Father Ryan. That has always impressed me. I saw how the Catholic community builds like-minded and open-minded individuals who become lifelong friends and valuable parts of the community. And whenever we have been in need, that spirit, that outreach has been immediate, without us even asking.”

Servant Leaders
The value that Lucy and Marty bring to our community includes countless volunteer activities. We mentioned coaching? Marty has been doing it for 26 years. Serving the diocese? After co-chairing the logistics of Bishop Mark Spalding’s ordination in February of 2018, Lucy was asked to stay on and assist the bishop as he set up his office.   Three earlier years were spent working next to Father McMahon at Holy Family. Involvement in the EACS reception? Marty secured sponsorships while Lucy helped plan the event. The list of committees, of engagements, of events—and of differences made—continues to grow. And the Catholic community…Catholic education…grows stronger because of their work.
 
“Father Ryan leaves benchmarks on your heart, and has done so for almost a century,” Lucy said. “We have to be involved in this wonderful enterprise to ensure that those benchmarks are planted on future generations of students, servants and leaders.”
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Omni Nashville Hotel