Society honors volunteers, inducts 47 new members

By Ruby Thomas, Record Staff Writer

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul and its Conference Affairs Committee recognized nine volunteers and welcomed 47 new members to the society this year.

Six volunteers were honored during the annual volunteer appreciation luncheon April 9 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 830 Phillips Lane.

Three other individuals were honored by the Conference Affairs Committee during the society’s Vincentian ceremony March 10 at Mary Queen of Peace Church, 4005 Dixie Highway. During the ceremony, the 47 new members were inducted into the society.

Those honored perform a variety of tasks for the charity, including serving hot meals in the Open Hand Kitchen, helping to recruit new volunteers, assisting clients in the food pantry, sorting donations in the thrift stores and assisting with the annual Santa Shop, said Donna Young, director of conference affairs and volunteer services at the society.

“Without volunteers, St. Vincent de Paul could not possibly carry out the programs and serve the hundreds of people we do each year,” said Young. “Volunteers make a difference.”

Those honored April 9  are:

  • Ann and Tom Bizzel, members of St. Edward Church, received the Lifetime Service Award.

The Bizzels have been volunteers and donors to St. Vincent de Paul since the 1980s, according to an announcement from the society. Tom Bizzel delivers items to the Open Hand Kitchen and pantry and he and Ann Bizzel volunteer at the annual Santa Shop.

  • St. Michael Church’s SVDP conference received the Father Timmel Award, which “recognizes representatives of a church or faith-based group that volunteer together regularly at St. Vincent de Paul,” according to information from the society.

Members of the St. Michael conference serve at the Open Hand Kitchen, donate their time to the food pantry and Santa Shop and “help with anything they are asked to do,” the announcement said.

The award’s namesake, Father Gerald Timmel, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville. He has been a long-time presence in the society and has worked with deacons and their wives in their ministry at St. Vincent de Paul.

  • Devon Kroeger, a former SVDP client, received the Pay It Forward Award, which “recognizes a client or former client of St. Vincent de Paul Louisville who is giving back to the community as a volunteer in service to others,” an announcement said.

Kroeger is a member of the society’s advisory board. He has “impressed everyone with giving of his time to St. Vincent de Paul,” the announcement said.

  • Cletis Evans, a coordinator for the Toys for Tots charitable organization, was honored with the Community Partner Award. It “recognizes a valued community non-profit partner who is instrumental in the mission of St. Vincent de Paul Louisville,” an announcement said.

“Toys for Tots is a critical partner to the annual Santa Shop,” said the announcement. Evans and Toys for Tots donate hundreds of toys for needy families served by the Santa Shop.

  • Fifth Third Bank received the Corporate Partner of the Year Award, which “pays tribute to a business that has contributed significant volunteer time, energy and resources to the mission of St. Vincent de Paul Louisville, including employee volunteers,” the announcement said.

Representatives from the bank offer “financial empowerment” workshops to SVDP clients several times a year and staff members also donate their time in the Open Hand Kitchen.

In addition, the Fifth Third Foundation “presented SVDP with a significant gift which helped make the Ozanam Inn renovation possible,” said the statement.

The Ozanam Inn — a homeless shelter for men — is getting an upgrade, said Young. The building is being painted, offices and bathrooms are being updated and the air condition unit has been replaced. Some “really good success stories” have come out of the services offered by the Ozanam Inn, she said.    

  • Paul Carmany, received the Volunteer of the Year Award, which “recognizes an individual who has contributed significant volunteer time, energy and or resources to the mission of St. Vincent de Paul,” an announcement said.

Though Carmany is not Catholic, Young said he has served as a volunteer for 20 years.

“He’s here every day. He loves the mission and wants to help us carry it out,” Young said.

Carmany oversees the operation of the Santa Shop and the men’s clothes closet on the SVDP campus.

Affairs honorees

Three other volunteers were honored in March. These awards are presented by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Conference Affairs Committee during the Vincentian ceremony, where new members are inducted into the society — 47 this year. 

During the ceremony, the Conference Affairs Committee presented its highest honor, the Top Hat Award. In addition, the society presented the Ozanam Medallion and the St. Vincent Award.

The ceremony also serves to inspire the new Vincentians, said Young, adding, “The average Vincentian is not young. We need to attract new people to do the work.”   

  • John Raque, a member of the St. Raphael Church Conference, received the Top Hat Award.

The award is presented to a person who “has worked among the material and spiritual poor in the manner and demeanor of our founder, Frederic Ozanam,” an announcement from the society said.

  • Margaret Schum, a member of the Mary Queen of Peace Church Conference, received the St. Vincent Plaque. The award is presented to a volunteer who exemplifies the spirit of St. Vincent, “supplying nonjudgmental and supportive service to those in need,” the announcement said.


  • John Kolb, a member of the St. Athanasius Church Conference, received the Ozanam Medal. The award is presented to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of Frederic Ozanam and dedication to the society, the announcement said.

The new members, who were inducted into the society, and their conferences are:

Holy Family Church — Jamie Jarboe-Spears.

Holy Spirit Church — Marilyn Hettich.

St. Bernadette Church — Judy Clausen, Pennie DeTorres, Carol Devos, Helen Donaldson, Emily Jennings, Steve Jennings, Tom Mugavin, Tom Murray, Rita Murray, Helen Nicolas, Gerald Nicolas, Lauri Pils, Jane Quennan, Sharon Schuhmann and Kelly Von Busch.

St. Dominic Church, Springfield — Trappistine Sister Genevieve Durcan.

St. Edward Church — Ann Metzger and Paul Metzger.

St. Ignatius Church — Denise Ellery, Patricia Laster, Juanita Tooley and Jennifer Tungate.

St. Lawrence Church — Mike Brey, Gary Browning, Suzanne Burns, Doris Kenney, Jim O’Bryant and Linda O’Bryant.

St. Leonard Church — Mike Feldhaus, Sandy Feldhaus and Judy Felli.

St. Paul Church —  Margaret Conard, Lee Ann Devine, Gene Dowell, Brigida Hatmaker and Therese Soeder.

St. Raphael Church — Heather Duvall, Daryl Granger, Morgan Kelty and Kelli Watkins.

St. Rita Church — Judy Hodges.

St. Stephen Martyr Church — Anita Garrison, Chuck Steinmetz, Dave Thieneman and Ron Beckman.

The Record
Written By
The Record
More from The Record
Students win top yearbook and journalism awards from WKU
Three Catholic High Schools won awards in Western Kentucky University’s Mark of...
Read More
0 replies on “Society honors volunteers, inducts 47 new members”