2011 American Catholic Press Benefit

Great News!  This year, the 2011 ACP benefit  takes place on FRIDAY evening, October 21.  The Gratiam Dei Award recipient is Tom Dreesen, a famous entertainer, a sidekick of the late Frank Sinatra; Tom grew up in Harvey and is glad to recount his local origins. He has many friends and admirers in the southern suburbs. In Harvey, 155th Street is named after Tom.  He has much to tell us about his Catholic upbringing at Ascension parish.  Of late, Tom has been widely acclaimed as a motivational speaker.

"Some men measure their lives by days and years, others by love affairs, passions or tears. But the truest measure under the sun, is what in your life for others you've done." (Tom Dreesen)

 The venue for this benefit is the Flossmoor Country Club in Flossmoor, Illinois. A reception begins at 6 p.m.; dinner is at 7 p.m.  Driving Directions are available online.

Front door of Flossmoor Country Club
Here is the front entrance to the main building of the Flossmoor Country Club.

The master of ceremonies for this dinner is the renowned Father David Simonetti.  In the Chicagoland area, Father Simonetti is well known for days of recollection, retreats, and special celebrations.  He is an associate pastor at St. James parish, Sauk Village.  Father Simonetti has been interviewed on Relevant Radio.

About 7 p.m., Bishop Joseph Perry says grace before meals.  He is the episcopal vicar of the Chicago Archdiocese for Vicariate VI, including the south side of Chicago and the southern suburbs.  For some years now, Bishop Perry has been a frequent guest at the annual ACP benefit.  He has a background as a church organist and currently supervises editing of Pastoral Liturgy, a periodical from the Chicago Archdiocese.

After dinner, about 8:15, we welcome singing by The Prodigal Sons, a male quartet from the southern suburbs. They come highly recommended by Professor Al Jackson, of South Suburban College. You will find this group really delightful. The Prodigal Sons are Ken Disselkoen, Dr. Walter Flor, Randall ("Randy") Madderom, and Don Pohlhammer. Dr. Flor has patients throughout the southern suburbs. Randy Madderom works at the Flossmoor Country Club and is known to many of the members there.

The 2011 recipient of the Henry Hyde Award is Dr. Richard G. Moutvic.  He is a longstanding member of the Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  Dr. Moutvic has spent over half a century, helping women and delivering babies.  He has brought thousands of children into the world. Dr. Moutvic is the father of six and grandfather of twelve.  Long associated with St. James Hospital and Aunt Martha's Health Center, he continues to be involved in good causes to the present day.  He is, for example, an active board member of several charitable foundations.  Recently, Dr. Moutvic was elected chairman of the board for WellGroup, part of the Franciscan Alliance. This past August, he was elected president of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra.

Dr. Moutvic is introduced by Professor C. Yukich, of St. Xavier University, Chicago.  Professor Yukich is a former patient of his, as well as an instructor for those in the nursing program at Xavier.  St. Xavier's School of Nursing  is the first program of its kind to be accredited in the State of Illinois.

Advance publicity is favorable, for example, in the Homewood-Flossmoor Patch, the SouthtownStar, and the Southland Voice.  These three notices generated many others, in various publications; see, for example, Michael Sneed's column.  There was also mention of Tom Dressen's award in the Infant Jesus of Prague Campanile, as well as the San Rocco Oratory website.  See also a second notice in the SouthtownStar.  After the fact, there is even a third notice.

Father Gilligan (left) bestows the Henry Hyde Award on Dr. Richard G. Moutvic
Father Michael Gilligan (left) bestows the Henry Hyde Award on Dr. Richard G. Moutvic (right). The award is to commemorate the heroic, consistent, pro-life stand of the late Henry Hyde. Honorable Henry Hyde was chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Tom Dreesen receives the 2011 Gratiam Dei Award.
Tom Dreesen receives the 2011 Gratiam Dei Award, for his talent, his philanthropy, and his service to the common good.


Dr. Robert Heyburn and Dr. Moutvic
Dr. Robert Heyburn and Dr. Moutvic. After dinner today, Dr. Heyburn is the first speaker to introduce Dr. Moutvic. Dr. Heyburn speaks, too, on behalf of WellGroup and the Franciscan Alliance, including St. James Hospital, now known as FranciscanSt.JamesHealth.

Professor Carol Yukich
Professor Carol Yukich of St. Xavier University School of Nursing, a patient of Dr. Moutvic. She is the second speaker to introduce him.


Mary Moutvic, Dr Margaret Wasz, and Bill Chmela
Mary Moutvic, her daughter, Dr. Margaret Moutvic Wasz, of the Mayo Clinic, and Bill Chmela. Bill came with a group of childhood friends of Dr. Moutvic. They had a table of ten.

Father Tri Van Tran, pastor of St. Mary's, Park Forest, (left) and some members of the parish
Members of St. Mary's, Park Forest, Dr. Moutvic's parish. Father Tri Van Tran, pastor, is on the left. Over on the right is Deacon Ed Szymanski.


Dr. Moutvic (right)
Dr. Moutvic (right)

Joe Darguzas and Dee Carreras
Joe Darguzas and Dee Carreras


Alan Bartels
Alan Bartels, of St. Mary's parish, comes with his wife, Carol (below, top right). Alan provides insurance for the American Catholic Press building in South Holland.

Parishoners of St. Mary's; Carol Barthels is on the right.
Parishoners of St. Mary's
Parishoners of St. Mary's, Park Forest
Parishoners of St. Mary's parish, Park Forest. They had a table of ten.


Seth Warren, president of St James Hospital
Seth Warren, president of St. James Hospital, now known as Franciscan St. James Health. Seth personally invited and now welcomes several physicians this evening, in honor of Dr. Moutvic. Because of Seth, the hospital is also a sponsor of this benefit dinner.


Kris Cortes, wife of Dennis
Kris Cortes, wife of Dennis Cortes, nephew of Connor Loesch.

Mary Cortes and Karen Mantoan
Mary Cortes (left) is the sister of the late Connor Loesch, dedicated ACP board member. Karen Mantoan (right) is the wife of Dr. Richard Mantoan.


Honorable Paul Braun, Mayor of Flossmoor
Honorable Paul Braun, Mayor of Flossmoor, first member of the 2011 Benefit Commmittee

Lisa Caposey (left) and Pat Gnaster (right)
Lisa Caposey (left) and Pat Gnaster (right). An ACP board member, Pat personally invited and welcomed several guests this evening, including Lisa.


Rich Skurka
Rich Skurka is the owner of Chicago Laser & Computer Services, which maintains ACP's computers, copiers, and printers.

Beth Ehlman and Pat Curran
Beth Ehlman and Pat Curran. Pat was one of several who obtained items of interest for our silent auction this evening.


Larry and Nettie Panozzo
Larry and Nettie Panozzo. Over the years, both have been good supporters of ACP; they have come to our benefit many times. Larry is from Panozzo Funeral Home.

Carol Swanson (left) with her mother, Geraldine Burke (right)
Carol Swanson (left) with her mother, Geraldine Burke (right). Carol is in charge of institutional advancement (development) at Marian High School, Chicago Heights.


Dick and Kathy Witt
Dick and Kathy Witt, from Infant Jesus of Prague Parish, Flossmoor. They are from the Faith and Friendship Group. This group meets monthly, to study a topic of common interest, from Milton Friedman to Thomas Merton to John Paul II.

Nina Albrecht of Aunt Martha's Center
Nina Albrecht of Aunt Martha's Center, where Dr. Moutvic served for several years.

Dreesen Family during the reception in honor of Tom
Dreesen Family during the reception in honor of Tom. That's Walter Bethman on the left, next to Tom Dreesen.


Tom Dreesen had his close and supportive family present.
Tom Dreesen had his close and supportive family with him this evening. On the far left is one of Tom's sisters, Judi Austell.

Tom Dreesen (himself!) speaking to us, after dinner.
Tom Dreesen (himself!) speaking to us after dinner. He regales the audience with great stories and delightful memories.

Father David Simonetti
Father David Simonetti, master of ceremonies this evening. He keeps everything moving smoothly.

Bishop Joseph Perry with Father Simonetti and his parents.
Bishop Joseph Perry (right), episcopal vicar for the southern suburbs, with Father Simonetti (left) and his parents.


Joan Braden and Rosann Conroy
Joan Braden (left) and Rosann Conroy (right) at the reception table, greeting guests. That's Geraldine Burke in the background.

(from the right) Mayor Paul Braun, Nick Zagotta, Tom Fulton, and Mib Braun
(from the right) Honorable Paul Braun, mayor of Flossmoor, Nick Zagotta, former president of Flossmoor Country Club, Tom Fulton, of Flossmoor Community Church, and Mib Braun, a graduate of Infant Jesus of Prague School.


Allen Nelles, Helen & Jim Silvia
Allen Nelles with Helen & Jim Silvia. Helen helped produce the 1971 ACP accompaniment edition. She was then a mere child.

Chris Bern, Kathy Zagotta, and Marty Conroy, ACP board members
Chris Bern, Kathy Zagotta, and Marty Conroy, all ACP board members, who helped organize this benefit. Chris first recommended Dr. Moutvic as the recipient of the Henry Hyde Award.


Jerry and Chris Bern (left), greeting Bobbie and Joe Noonan (right)
Jerry and Chris Bern (left), greeting Bobbie and Joe Noonan (right). Jerry brought a display of jewellery, on consignment, from Marshall Pierce & Co. Bobbie, president of Noonan Academy, is a previous recipient of the Gratiam Dei Award.

Bill & Sharon Kiehl and Marilyn & Dr. Richard Mantoan
Bill & Sharon Kiehl with Karen & Dr. Richard Mantoan. As president of Liberty Lithographers, Bill printed Father Gilligan's first book in 1971, How to Prepare Mass. This book went through two editions and three printings.


Bishop Perry, John Onofrio, and Pat Renzetti
Bishop Perry, John Onofrio, and Pat Renzetti. John designed both the new San Rocco church and the adjacent St. Anthony Hall. He was also general contractor for the hall.

Mike Yukich, Kathleen Yukich, and Patrick McGeary
Mike Yukich, Kathleen Yukich, and Patrick McGeary. For many years, Mike Yukich has been at ACP, in charge of subscriber services.


Bishop Perry, saying grace before meals
After all sing the hymn, Lord of All Life, Bishop Perry says grace before meals. That's Father David Simonetti over on the left. He waits in joyful hope.

The Prodigal Sons
The Prodigal Sons, singing in four parts during and after dinner. This male quartet is from Flossmoor Community Church.


Marilyn Pohlhammer accompanies The Prodigal Sons
On the piano, Marilyn Pohlhammer accompanies The Prodigal Sons. Her husband, Don, sings in the quartet.

The Prodigal Sons
The Prodigal Sons


Silent Auction table, with books
Silent Auction table, with books by previous recipients of the Gratiam Dei Award. These honorees are Father Andrew Greeley and Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court. There's also a copy of the new Roman Missal, to go into effect on the First Sunday of Advent, 2011.

A portable piano, at the Silent Auction
A portable piano, at the Silent Auction, donated by Joe and Terri Schulte. Some people who worked on the Silent Auction were Chris Bern, Joan Braden, Rosann Conroy, Susan Vorwerk, and Kathy Zagotta.


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