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Founder's Day

2024 Founder's Day Award Dinner

Event Details:

Date: Sunday, April14, 2024

Time: 5:00pm - Cocktail Reception,  6:00pm - Dinner & Program

Location: Radisson Hotel Ballroom - La Crosse, WI 



St. Francis Staff Award: Monsignor Michael Gorman & Mari Erickson
St. Thomas Aquinas Award: Sue Quillin '79

Bishop John Paul Distinguished Alumni Award: Dave Umhoefer '79

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award: Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration 

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Past Founder's Day Awards

St. Francis Staff Award 

This award is presented to an Aquinas Catholic Schools staff member of long standing or who made a significant impact on the students of Aquinas. This person is not a current staff member and has been off staff for at least one to two years.


Past Recipients:

1999 Fr. Robert Altmann, Sr. Althea Meierotto, Sr. Lucille Kleinheinz, Lee Gilbert
2000 Fr. Charles A. Blecha
2001 Phil Hahn
2002 Kathleen Forslund, Sr. Celine Schumacher
2003 Jack Nockels
2004 Sr. Celestine Cepress, John Michuta
2005 Sr. Geneva Kneer
2006 Sr. Judine Kranc
2007 Sr. Margaret Mary Conway, Margaret Grelle
2008 David Reinders
2009 Mary Kroner
2010 Therese Dobson
2011 David English
2012 Charles Schmidt
2013 Mike Desmond
2014 Margaret Dineen
2015 Not awarded 
2016 James Vail
2017 Michael Drake
2018 John Stellflue

2019 Joe Gaspard

2020-21 Sharon Tempke

2022 Jane Ryan

2023 Julie Wagner

Bishop John Paul Distinguished Alumnus Award 

A graduate of the Aquinas, distinguished themselves in their community, has demonstrated support for Aquinas, has experienced significant achievement in their chosen field, and practice the Catholic faith.

Past Recipients:

1991 Phil Quillin
1992 Frank Uhler, Jr.
1993 Steve & Marian Pavela
1994 Mary Blaschke, Paul Noelke
1995 Robert & Anita Funke, Robert & Marie Daley
1996 Roger Ferris, Ed & Sally Sullivan
1997 Sr. Mary Ann Gschwind, Robert Skemp
1998 Robert Kreutz, John Bissen
1999 Fr. Bernard McGarty, Sr. Rita Rathburn
2000 Paul Poehling
2001 Bishop John Paul, Anita Froegel
2002 Fr. Robert J. Cook
2003 John Kerrigan, Robert Gilbert
2004 John & Barb Marie Leinfelder
2005 Don Gallagher
2006 Dr. Steve Pavela
2007 Michael Weissenberger
2008 James Maney
2009 Paul Schams
2010 Fr. Steven Kachel & Ernest Tremmel
2011 Not awarded
2012 Not awarded
2013 Pat Gantert
2014 Steve Doll 
2015 Not awarded
2016 Bob Halaska
2017 Kathryn Keppel
2018 Anthony Binsfeld

2019 Tim Murphy

2020-21 Mark Schneider

2022 Keith Balts

2023 Phil (PJ) Esten

St. Thomas Aquinas Award 

This award is given to a person who has made a significant contribution of time, talent and/or treasure in assisting the students of the Aquinas Schools. The recipient will have demonstrated a concern for the education process by volunteering to help activities such as the auction, Aquinas Fest, the Parents Club, Booster Club, Music Parents club and assisting in development fundraisers. This person may have made a significant contribution to the extracurricular programs of Aquinas both as a student and/or in their adult life.


Past Recipients:

1999 Ralph & Joyce Clason
2000 Richard J. Campbell
2001 Marjorie Reinhart
2002 George E. Smith
2003 John & Donna Hansen Family
2004 William Kerrigan
2005 Dr. Art Barbier
2006 Larry Lee
2007 Ken Morrison
2008 Henry Funk
2009 Joe Poehling
2010 Dr. George & Margaret Ellenz
2011 Bruce Simones
2012 James Kiffe
2013 Bob & Cindy Klar
2014 Jim & Kathy McGettigan
2015 Not awarded
2016 Mike & Denise Kachel
2017 Thomas "Tiny" Poellinger
2018 Michael Quillin

2019 Barbara & Dr. James Murphy

2020-21 Kevin Roop

2022 Michael & Sara Taggart

2023 Mark Hansen

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award 

Awarded to a business or organization that demonstrates a history of partnership with and support of Aquinas Catholic Schools and the Aquinas Catholic Schools Foundation. 


Past Recipients:

2020-21 Morrison & Associate, SC

2022 Clason Buick-GMC

2023 The Weber Group


St. Francis Staff Award
John Paul Award
St. Thomas Aquinas Award
St Elizabeth Ann Seton
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