The Christopher Whitehouse Foundation Inc.
Peter and his wife, Pat, cofounded the Christopher Whitehouse Foundation (CWF) in 1999 after the tragic loss of their son, Christopher. Christopher was pursuing his Ph.D. in Psychology and had a strong desire to help students in need. Using that as their inspiration, Peter and Pat started the foundation based on two principles: first, identify students who need assistance through people who know them best – such as school guidance counselors and second, keep the names of the students anonymous. Those guiding principles have allowed the foundation to influence hundreds of young people.
The Directors of The Christopher Whitehouse Foundation Inc.
Peter Whitehouse - President
Peter is a Staten Island native and received an athletic scholarship to the University of Notre Dame where his love of education and track took root. His track achievements are legendary and include setting the record as the highest point scorer in UND history; earning first team All-America honors by placing second in the 110-meter high hurdles in the NCAA championship and qualifying for and running in the 1964 Olympic trials. Peter was also the recipient of the William D. Reynolds Award from UND for “a life of service as an educator, volunteer, founder and current President of the Christopher Whitehouse Foundation.
After graduating from UND, Peter pursued his dual careers of teaching history and coaching track & field. He continues both careers and is an active member of the Notre Dame Club and a leader and guiding presence in all aspects of track & field on Staten Island.
Peg Ventrudo - Vice President
Peg is a lifelong resident of Staten Island and is now a Vice President of the board of the Christopher Whitehouse Foundation assisting in the approval of grants for students in need and helping coordinate the annual Hesburgh Lecture Series.
Her professional life has been spent teaching high school math and coordinating an honors program for over 28 years. She earned her undergraduate degree in mathematics from Georgian Court University and her graduate degree in teaching high school math from the City University of New York.
She says that knowing the Whitehouse family “you cannot help but be drawn in by their dedication and generosity”. It is very rewarding work and an honor to be part of the effort to continue the work of their son, Christopher. The grants awarded by the CWF help to make a difference in the lives of so many high school students who are in need of everyday things that many of us take for granted.
Patricia Whitehouse - Co-founder & Board Emeritus
Pat was a lifelong resident of Staten Island and attended Notre Dame Academy and earned her bachelor’s degree in English from St. John’s University. She was a naturally inspired teacher who also pursued her lifelong passion as an artist.
After teaching for many years in the NYC school system and raising her three sons, Pat concentrated on developing her skill as a watercolor artist. She attended the Art Students League in Manhattan and perfected her specialization in Chinese watercolor techniques by participating in several university sponsored art trips to China. She continued teaching at Art Lab at Snug Harbor and for the UFT and her works have been exhibited in numerous galleries in New York City including the Salmagundi Art Club.
Pat was well known by her family and friends for constantly sending individually painted cards tailored for each person and always including inspirational quotations. By doing that, she found a unique way of combining her lifelong love of painting and teaching and sharing her gifts with others. Her cards have been treasured by many as reminders of how she expressed her love.
After their son Christopher died, Pat and Peter decided to start the CWF as an effective way of continuing Christopher’s focus on helping students in need. She served as Vice President of the Foundation from its inception in 1999 until her passing in 2018.
Joseph Marotta- Treasurer
Joseph is native born Staten Islander, Joe grew up in the neighborhood of Bay Terrace and is the product of Staten Island’s public schools. He ran track at Tottenville HS and was the recipient of several student/athletic scholarships. After graduation in 1986 Joe accepted one of those coveted scholarships and made the journey down the NJ Turnpike to Villanova University where he earned a degree in political science. A commission as a Marine Corps officer followed and he served in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and Mogadishu, Somalia. Discharged as a Captain in 1997, Joe began a career in the financial sector. He currently works for Merrill Lynch, is a Certified Financial Planner™, and as a partner on a wealth management team in Florham Park, NJ. He lives in Glen Ridge, NJ with his wife Ylonka and their three children Cristina, Joseph, and Sophia.As a childhood friend and HS teammate of Chris Whitehouse, Joe has always appreciated the candor, kindness, and unconditional friendship that Chris gave, and looks forward to continuing Chris’ legacy of generosity.
Samantha Irwin - Secretary
Samantha was born in Brooklyn and raised on Staten Island where she graduated from Tottenville High School and was a classmate of Christopher Whitehouse. Upon graduating from the State University at Binghamton in 1990 with a BA in Philosophy, Sam began what would become a 30+ year career in the magazine publishing industry starting at Rodale Press which is now part of the Hearst Corporation. She is currently the General Manager of the Men’s and Enthusiast Group at Hearst Magazine Media which includes the legacy brands, Esquire and Popular Mechanics, as well as the acquired Rodale titles, Men’s Health, Runner’s World and Bicycling.
Sam has been a member of the CWF Board of Directors since 2016 and feels it is an honor and privilege to be working alongside fellow board members, granting students in need the means to access things to help them succeed academically and to take part in activities every student should have the right to access.
Robert Griswold, DDS
Kathy Hardy, PhD
James S. Hazard
Luci Paul, PhD
Kevin Zarrera, Esq.