April 16, 2012

Celebrate Life Banquet held

Submitted article

STE. GENEVIEVE -- Ste. Genevieve Citizens for Life held their 19th annual "Celebrate Life" banquet on Thursday, April 12, 2012 at the Ste. Genevieve Knights of Columbus Hall, beginning with an opening prayer by Rev. Gregory Klump, Associate Pastor of the Church of Ste. Genevieve.

It was followed with dinner prepared by the Sodality of Mary from the Church of Ste. Genevieve.

Dinner entertainment was provided by Patti Naeger & the "Les Petites Chanteurs" and

Nic, Travis, and Allegra Puhse (the Travis Lee Band http://www.travisleeband.com/promosite.html)

After dinner a power point presentation of the 2012 March for Life trip was shown which was created by Valle Catholic High School student Jennifer Mueller. This was followed by students from Valle Catholic High School who gave testimony about their participation in the DC trip.

Kerry Messer, president of the Missouri Family Network, spoke to the crowd about pending legislative issues and drew attention to the responsibility of all pro-lifers to get involved in the legislative process. Kenny Williams gave an update on the Ste. Genevieve Area Center for Life, a newly formed establishment/ministry of citizens gathering together to provide a pro-life pregnancy resource center for the Ste. Genevieve community.

The keynote speaker this year was John Appelbaum, Missouri State Deputy for the Knights of Columbus. Appelbaum gave an overview of the work of the Knights that lives up to their pledge of "charity, fraternity, unity, and patriotism". He educated the gathering on the progress being made with the Knights' statewide "Meet Life" campaign, which is generating funds to purchase ultrasound machines for pregnancy resource centers. Studies show that 90 percent of women who view an ultrasound image and hear the heartbeat of their baby abandon plans for an abortion. He encouraged those in attendance to support pregnancy resource centers and gave hope to all with the news that the numbers of abortions performed in Missouri is on a downward trend looking to continue so.

He congratulated all the young people in attendance with these words: "You are not just our future; you are our hope. By your actions you are not just saying you are pro-life; you are being it."

Raymond Sexauer Pro Life Scholarship winners with Sexauer family representatives: Patti Naeger and Lucille Eichenlaub; also pictured with Theresa Kirchmer, Ste. Genevieve Citizens for Life are back row, from left): Eric Meyer, Kevin Abts, Michael Wehner, Ashley Operle, Natalie Grass, and Jared Bruns (front row, from left): Patti Naeger, Lucille Eichenlaub, Alexa Kuenzel, Allison Gegg, Emily Basler, Emily Kraenzle, Regan Holland, and Theresa Kirchmer

A special presentation was made from the family of Raymond T. Sexauer. Every year Julia (Raymond Sexauer's daughter) and Tom Stanley sponsor a pro life essay contest for all Valle Catholic seniors.

The scholarships are given in memory of Julia's dad, a devout Catholic and pro-life advocate. The winning essays are selected each year by teacher, Nancy Damato, who is involved in pro-life activities and education in Jacksonville, Florida.

This year's $200.00 scholarship winners were:

Kevin Abts, son of Steve and Mary Abts - University of Missouri

Emily Basler, daughter of Dale and Kim Basler - Fontbonne University

Allison Gegg, daughter of Butch and Joyce Gegg - Southeast MO State University

Alexa Kuenzel, daughter of Tim and Stephanie Kuenzel - Truman State University

Eric Meyer, son of John and Donna Meyer - Maryville University

$50 Scholarship winners were:

Jared Bruns, son of Walt and Barb Bruns - University of Missouri

Natalie Grass, daughter of Tim and Karen Grass - Lindenwood University

Regan Holland, daughter of Ted and Julie Holland - Maryville University

Emily Kraenzle, daughter of John and Debbie Kraenzle - Southeast Missouri State Universty

Ashley Operle, daughter of Jeff and Laura Operle - Lindenwood University

Michael Wehner, son of Don and Annette Wehner - Southeast Missouri State University

Briley Bieser, daughter of Steve and Diahann Bieser, was recognized for being a finalist in the Archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate essay contest which is open to all eighth graders who plan to attend a Catholic high school. Briley will be a freshman at Valle Catholic High School in the fall.

The program concluded with the announcement of raffle winners for prizes donated by members of the Ste. Genevieve community. Money raised will be donated to various pro-family organizations in the area. The evening closed with a beautiful composition written and performed by Allegra Puhse with accompaniment from Travis and Vic Puhse.

Fifth and sixth grade banquet servers L to R back row: Jacob Oliver, Daniel Kuenzel, Emma Nickelson, Hannah Viox, and Taylor Matthews front: Ericka Loida, Olivia Grein, Rylee Huck, and Alivia Bauman

Guests were served by students from Valle Catholic under the supervision of Sheila Roth.