“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Today was as you may know Veterans Day and it was seen here on campus. There was a ceremony that was put on by the St. Thomas Air Force ROTC today to honor our Veterans, those serving overseas today and all of the POW’s and MIA soldiers still out there. It was a day of festivities there was a guest speaker that was here, Richard Carol, a World War II pilot and prisoner of war. He spoke about his experiences as a prisoner of war in Europe during World War II. Then there is a 24-hour Vigil where ROTC Cadets march silently around the flag pole. It is quite the sight to watch them march back and forth so reverently and so silently. I am sure that we all know a veteran or a soldier that is serving right now. We should all take the time to say thank you to them in the next few days.
One of the more social and unofficial events that took place to kick off Veterans Day was an ROTC Dodge ball tournament. It was quite the site to see all the cadets and their teams in their not standard issue wacky attire. Feeling the spirit of the day, USG decided to field a team of Class presidents and Senators and other representatives to make the ultimate DODGEBALL TEAM, the Gallopin’ Gavels. Due to a time restriction we had to end the tournament in a tie. I am not a ROTC cadet but I do know when the colonel says game over, it’s a good thing to listen. But at the time we were just getting ready for the final round. There was a tie for first place TEAM USG and a ROTC team. I would like to point out that we gave all of the ROTC teams a run for their money. I would also like to give a shout-out to my friend Dan. He is the St. John Vianney Seminary representative and he is vicious with a dodge ball let me tell you. It was a great way to end the night. I had spent all day in the Frey library studying for Accounting and Statistics tests I have tomorrow. It was a great way to honor our veterans and relase some steam with a little friendly dodge ball tourney.
It is spirit Saturday this weekend so I hope to see some of you around Saturday. It is also the last home Football game. GO TOMMIES!
Special thanks to our veterans and those who are currently serving and their families. My gratitude and appreciation go out to you. God bless America.
PRETTY INTIMIDATING> THE GALLOPIN GAVELS. TEAM USG!!!
Is that Gordan Bombay? NOPE That is KEVIN HAMPTON President of USG and a few of the team members getting pumped for our second match.
I had a magnificent Wednesday Evening. I had the opportunity to attend the Opus Prize Event. This award is put on by the Opus Corporation, more specifically the Opus Prize foundation and the Rauenhorst Family. It is an award that is given out to an individual or organization that runs a faith-based social entrepreneurship venture that helps the less fortunate all over the world. All three wonderful award recipients were full of hope, faith and a vision to help those that need help. It was one of the most moving events I have ever attended, hands down.
Through the Student Alumni Council I was invited to help greet and have dinner with some of the dignitaries prior to the award ceremony. I had the opportunity to meet a few members of the Rauenhorst family but also got to shake the hands and meet all three award recipients. It was a truly an honor to amongst such accomplished, caring, loving people. None of the award recipients spoke English which made their facial expressions and their spirits convey how much faith each individual had and how thankful they were to be awarded this great honor.
Sister Valeriana was the first participant that I had the privilege of meeting and she is the founder and director of the Association Hogares Luz y Vida. She cares for over 140 physically and mentally disabled children and educates and provides day care for about 860 children in the area of Bogota Columbia, simply amazing. Than there is Father Hans, Co-founder and President of Farms of Hope, his organization has more than 60 communities in 10 countries! He helps rebuild lives of drug and alcohol addicts through faith. The Pope has even stopped by and said mass at the Farms of Hope. I would also like to mention that Fr. Hans had Bierkenstocks and Jeans on for the award ceremony, just to give you an idea of the presence he had. An amazing person. Than the winner of the $1 Million dollars this year was Aicha Ech Channa who is president and founder of Association Solidarite Feminine. Through her organization she takes unmarried woman and their children and teaches them to be self sufficient. Father Hans and Sister Valeriana did not win the $ 1 million prize, but both received $100,000 to help continue their efforts. All three were so deserving, I would not have wanted to be on the committee that had to select just one of the three.
I felt privileged and inspired to be in attendance last night. It was amazing. I feel like after hearing about all the participants and all that they do I feel like I can do more and need to do more. It was uplifting to see that those three people have effected so many people and have made this world a better place. St. Thomas has a slogan that says “ Challenge yourself, Change our world” and that is exactly what Sister Valeriana, Father Hans and Aicha Ech Channa are doing in their daily lives. It was also a great opportunity and honor for St. Thomas as a community to be a part of this award and help in the selection process of the winners.
Next year the award will be in conjunction with Fordham University. It was at Marquette and Notre Dame Universities in the recent past. It was a moving, inspirational and amazing night.
This is myself and Brady Narloch. He presented the award to Sr. Valeriana. He even got to go visit her and her school and day care centers in Bogota Colombia. GREAT JOB BRADY!
This is Sister Valeriana accompanied by Nellie a fellow SAC member and myself. She is an amazing woman. She was just so happy and had a smile and heart that could brighten up the room!
See you around the Quad. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND ST. THOMAS