Lourdes Academy presented the Dr. Stanley J. Spanbauer Education and Leadership Award to the Lasky Family at the citywide Celebrate Education event in March. This award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to Lourdes Academy and, more importantly, to improving the overall quality of education in the greater Oshkosh community.
Helaine Lasky, as well as her three sons and their wives, Mark and Kristen, Jason and Courtney, and Bradford and Maureen, are dedicated to enhancing educational opportunities for children in the Oshkosh community and beyond.
Their commitment to leadership begins with Helaine Lasky’s parents, Edward & Belle Rudoy. Edward escaped Bolshevik persecution, survived the depression, and had to quit school after 8th grade to work and support his family. What he lacked in education, he more than made up for in courage and determination. He started the Sadoff Iron & Metal Company—the business his grandsons now run. And he, along with his wife, Belle, devoted their lives to supporting organizations that develop youth and improve education in our community.
They were strong supporters of Lourdes Academy, founding members of the Oshkosh Community YMCA, and active volunteers with the Boys & Girls Club since it opened in Oshkosh. Perhaps more importantly, they ignited a spark in Helaine and in their grandchildren to change their community for the better and to leave a legacy for the next generation.
The Lasky family’s list of involvements in the area of education is extensive. The following accomplishments just scratch the surface of how their energy and expertise are helping the community.
Helaine is a strong supporter and proponent of helping kids succeed. She is working to build suicide and mental illness awareness, as well as support systems for students in elementary, middle and high school. She has also supported Afternoon Tea, a Boys & Girls Club event that helps girls function in society and learn basic skills and etiquette.
Mark has served on the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation board where advancing the public K-12 schools is an important community initiative. He was also an integral part of the founding of Oshkosh for Education. Mark is also one of the founding members of Lourdes Academy’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which helps young men develop essentian social skills and etiquette.
Kristen was part of a team that led the renovation and construction of Lakeside Elementary School securing funding for new playground equipment and lockers.
Jason has dedicated the last decade to teaching financial literacy, entrepreneurship and workforce readiness skills to students in Oshkosh, Fond du Lac and the Fox Valley as a Junior Achievement volunteer, board members and supporter.
Courtney has been instrumental in the formation of Growing Oshkosh and is one of its founding board members. The group builds gardens at elementary schools and provides educational programs stressing the importance of healthy eating.
Bradford has served on the Board of the Fond du Lac Boys & Girls Club where, with backing from the Sadoff Iron & Metal Company, he established a scholarship program for children to attend the club regardless of their financial situation.
Maureen served on the YMCA Board for six years and was a strong advocate for the development of a new downtown Y working to ensure that families and adults in the downtown area continued to have access to Y services.
In addition to their work in the community, the Laskys have been backers of Lourdes Academy for decades beginning with Edward & Belle. They’ve supported the launch of Lourdes Academy’s system-wide STEM initiative, which has been recognized nationally by both Project Lead the Way and Newsweek magazine. They have assisted with career development programs, technology in the classroom, and resources to support classroom learning initiatives, to name a few.
Helaine said, “Education is extremely important because it raises self-confidence and self-awareness, and gives people opportunities for the future.”
The Lasky family will be recognized at Lourdes Academy’s Awards & Recognition Dinner on Friday, April 30, 2021.