Showing Appreciation for Men Active at the Parish
By Mark Albert
The Little Flower Men’s Society Appreciation Dinner, to which all men of the parish are invited, is offered each year as a gesture of gratitude to all men who serve the parish through its ministries, organizations, committees, service groups and activities. This year’s event was held in the school cafeteria Friday evening, January 4. About 45 men attended, including several guests from neighboring parishes.
The evening began with beverages, snack foods and hearty appetizer dishes provided by members of the Society, followed by hot entrees catered by Walt’s Barbecue of Groesbeck. These selections included barbecued ribs, beef brisket, pulled chicken, sweet potatoes and green beans, followed by pumpkin pie and other deserts. Fr. Stricker, now in residence at Twin Towers Retirement Center in College Hill, was also present to enjoy the dinner and visit with parish friends. He kindly blessed the gathering and offered a prayer before the meal.
To kick off the “serious side” of the evening, Dave Anneken, president of the Men’s Society, conducted a brief business meeting. He explained the tradition of the Appreciation Dinner and noted that it began 35 years ago at St. Richard Parish and has continued for 21 years at Little Flower after the merger of the parishes. He then turned the floor over to Bob Louderback, Vice President, for the main highlight of the evening, the awarding of the Outstanding Service Award. This annual award recognizes a man of the parish who has shown distinguished service to the parish over the years and has been activity in current or recent parish undertakings. This year’s recipient is Gregory I. Ernst.
In making the presentation, Bob read a detailed but lighthearted history of Greg’s career with the Cincinnati Metropolitan Sewer District and a full account of his devotion to the Boy Scout Troop sponsored by the parish. Greg has served as Scout Master for years, faithfully promoting the values and lessons of the true scouting experience. Greg’s son, Matt, an Eagle Scout, offered his own tribute to his father for all he has done to make scouting “an experience of a lifetime.” Greg was awarded a plaque in honor of his contributions to scouting and the parish. His name will be added to the wall plaque, displayed in the vestibule of the church, which includes all past recipients of the award.
Dave Anneken concluded the formal program by presenting a gift certificate to Fr. Stricker for his past service to the parish. Fr. Stricker thanked the Society for its generous gift and commented on his new life at Twin Towers. He said he is happy there and is doing well, that he treats the Catholic residents as a small parish and has about 25 or more attending Mass each day.
After some comments about the activities of the Men’s Society throughout the year, the remainder of the evening was given to friendly conversation and socializing.
The Men’s Society is open to all men of the parish age 18 and older. It meets the first Wednesday of every month.