SEA ISLE CITY — Each year, the Knights of Columbus Madonna Maria Council #3560, of Saint Joseph Catholic Church, host an awards ceremony to honor members of the community who stand-out in their fields.
This year’s ceremony took place on May 27 in the parish auditorium, where 10 individuals received engraved plaques and many words of praise from the Knights.
During the ceremony, Knight Tom McGuire, who is Principal at Bishop McHugh Regional Catholic School, presented the 2021 Educator of the Year Award to Tamara Wernik Brown, a teacher at Bishop McHugh, who was praised for her devotion to her students and the numerous extracurricular activities she organizes.
Sea Isle City Beach Patrol Chief Renny Steele was called to the podium by Knight Mike Jargowsky, who presented him with the “Shield Award,” which is given to a first responder each year. Chief Steele has been with the SICBP for 63 years and is known for being a strong leader and tireless public servant.
Knight Joe Koch had the pleasure of announcing Matthew Moretti as the 2021 Male Student of the Year. A senior at Wildwood Catholic High School, Matthew stays very busy academically and athletically — so much so that he was unable to attend the awards ceremony.
Saint Joseph Church Catholic Daughter Bette Keller had the pleasure of presenting the 2021 Female Student of the Year award to Danna Ramirez Castaneyra, a well-respected student in the Ocean City School District, who is greatly admired for her strong faith.
The 2021 Senior Citizens of the Year Award was presented to Bill and Bette Keller by past Grand Knight Rick DiBruno, who explained that the couple performs a great deal of charity work each year and they are active in numerous parish ministries.
Sean, Jamie and Marie Mulholland received the 2021 Family of the Year Award, presented by Knight JB Flora, who spoke about the Mulholland’s many qualities, community involvement, and dedication to the parish.
Grand Knight Ed McFadden presented the 2021 Citizen of the Year Award to Sea Isle City Mayor Leonard Desiderio, who was honored for his ongoing devotion to the community and his leadership skills during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Knight Mike McHale presented a special “Outstanding Service to the Parish” award to Lisa DiBruno, who led the parish’s music ministry for many years and now serves as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist.
Just as the ceremony was about to close, Knight Chuck Whinney stepped to the podium and surprised Grand Knight Ed McFadden with the 2021 Knight of the Year Award, which goes to a Knight who displays exceptional dedication and devotion to Council 3560’s causes.
“Ed has been a true leader for our council, and he has spent a lot of time growing our service projects and membership,” Whinney said.
“Part of our mission is to recognize people who contribute to the community, said Mr. McFadden. “We have a six-person awards nomination committee, and each member submits names of candidates in each category. Then the committee votes on who is most deserving of the finalists for the individual awards — and this year my fellow committee members surprised me by honoring me with the 2021 Knight of the Year Award, which is a great honor.”
The four basic principles of the Knights of Columbus are charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism – and the group is happy to welcome new members who wish to serve their community in those capacities. For more information about the Knights of Columbus Madonna Maria Council, go to stjosephsic.org and click on the “Parish Ministries” link on the homepage or phone 215-300-0561.