Community activists honored at St. Pius V's Awards Banquet "Celebrating the Harvest"
The Illinois Restaurant Association, the Kazma Family Foundation, and the Raul & Linda Lopez family were honored for their service to the parish and the community during the sixth annual “Celebrating the Harvest” banquet, on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in the church hall.
“St. Pius V Parish and the entire Pilsen community are stronger, safer, and more welcoming places to be because of the efforts of our honorees,” Father Brendan said. “We are fortunate to count them among our friends and look forward to working side-by-side with them in our efforts to live our faith by working to strengthen families, and transform the community.”
Illinois Restaurant Association President Sam Toia accepted the Community Service Award on behalf of his organization, which was cited by the award committee for its activities on behalf of fair immigration reform policies in the state.
Leigh-Anne Kazma accepted the Institutional Development Award on behalf of the Kazma Family Foundation for its commitment to Catholic Education. The foundation supports not only St. Pius V School but many other educational institutions from elementary schools through post graduate theological centers in the Chicago Archdiocese, the Diocese of Joliet, Rome and elsewhere. In October Ms. Kazma was presented with the Elizabeth Ann Seton Award from the National Catholic Educational Association for her efforts.
The Family of Faith Award is granted to a family who makes an exceptional commitment to service within the parish. Receiving the award this year was the family of Linda Lopez and her late husband Raul, who have had a positive impact on parish life at St. Pius V for more than 40 years. The Lopez family is deeply committed as well to St. Pius V’s Special Religious Education, or SPRED, program, which adapts a model used across the country to serve the bilingual and Spanish-speaking families of St. Pius V Parish who have children with special needs. Over the years Linda Lopez has also served in leadership positions in religious education, RCIA, the parish council, the finance committee and countless other supportive efforts to strengthen the parish community.
The awards banquet included a silent auction to raise funds in support of the educational and social programs the parish offers. St. Pius V is home to an award winning Catholic elementary school, an after school program for children and youth, and one of the largest parish-based family counseling programs in the U.S. Services include an innovative domestic violence program for women and for men that is being duplicated by parishes around the archdiocese and across the nation. The parish’s soup kitchen, food pantry, and clothing store also provide for hundreds of needy families each year.
The master of ceremonies for the banquet was WGN News reporter Julian Crews.