The young men at Jesuit Academy celebrated Thanksgiving a week early with an event honoring special family members: their grandparents. Over 150 people attended the tenth annual Grandparent Luncheon, including Jesuit students and staff. Students whose grandparents are deceased and/or live out of state celebrated with other special family members in their lives. This year’s event was organized by the Parents Advisory Board and co-chaired by Zantel Nichols and Micki Taylor.
Emcee for the afternoon was eighth grader Eduardo Aguilar and the opening prayer was given by Fr. Neitzke. Food for the luncheon was provided with cost-saving donations from community partners Big Mama’s Kitchen & Catering and Hy-Vee at 52nd and Center. Also, a special thank you to the Parents Advisory Board and all of the Jesuit Academy staff, students and families who brought food, drinks and/or paper products for the event.
Prior to the event, students wrote essays about their grandparent and why they are important in their lives. Although all of the entries were wonderful, only one essay from each class could be chosen to be read at the luncheon. This year’s selections were from: Jamari Richards, fourth grade; Angelo Brown (for absent fifth grade brother, Carl); Jerome Glass, sixth grade and Alejandro Rodriguez, sixth grade.
The winner of the 2012 Isaiah Award was also announced. Its inspiration for the award came from Isaiah 43:4 —“You are precious to me and I love you and give you honor.” Recipients are chosen by the Jesuit Academy Leadership Team of Fr. Tom Neitzke, S.J. President; Tony Connelly, VP of Student Affairs, Troy Wharton, Principal and Joe Ogba, Dean of Students. Criteria for the award are based upon: raising a second/third family, community service, volunteer work, active church member and Gospel values. Past winners include Mrs. Estelle Pearson, Mr. and Mrs. George (Jacque) Sacks, Mr. and Mrs. Emil (Dorothy) Sekera, Mrs. Cherylene Leffall, Mrs. Helene Shannon, Ms. Mary Rollins, Stephanie Williams and Mr. and Mrs. Phil Saunders.
This year, Clarence and Vera Flowers, grandparents of eighth grade student Jordan Flowers, were honored with the 2012 Isaiah Award. Mr. and Mrs. Flowers are active members of Salem Baptist Church and continually strive to instill the love and importance of God to the lives of their family members.