DOWNERS GROVE – Montini Catholic High School senior Frank Conforti III of Downers Grove received the annual Spirit of '76 Award on Sept. 14 in memory of former student and football player Johnathan "Johnny" Weiger.
Conforti received the award before Montini's game against St. Joseph High School, which served as the annual charity game to raise funds for the nonprofit organization founded by the Weiger family following Johnny's death. The foundation supports pediatric and adolescent leukemia research.
Montini and St. Joseph fans donated to the cause by purchasing T-shirts, candy and raffle tickets before the game. About $2,800 was raised for the foundation.
Johnny joined the Montini community for the 2011-12 school year as a member of the class of 2015. He died Nov. 4, 2012. His jersey number was 76. As a tribute to their teammate, the team wears special uniforms each year at the Spirit of '76 game.
At that game, the Weiger family presents a special award to a unique member of the varsity football team.
Conforti is the son of Frank and Linda Conforti, who are parishioners of St. Mary of Gostyn Parish in Downers Grove.