The Catholic Schools of Niagara County celebrated Catholic education Monday, Oct. 27. More than 160 guests were in attendance at Antonio's Restaurant, Conference and Banquet Center, including the Most. Rev. Richard Malone and Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster. Students from Niagara Catholic Jr./Sr. High School, St. Peter R.C. School, Catholic Academy of Niagara Falls and Stella Niagara Education Park greeted guests and assisted throughout the evening's program.
The purpose of the dinner was to celebrate and honor those who support Catholic education. Awards were given to Mr. and Mrs. James Catanese, Mr. and Mrs. George Edwards, Chuck Marra and James Allen.
The Rev. James Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University, was the keynote speaker. One highlight from his address was the announcement of an additional scholarship that will be added to Niagara University's Vincentian scholars program. Qualified applicants with financial need from Niagara Catholic will be given preference when awarding this new scholarship.
The Cataneses became involved at Niagara Catholic while their three sons were in attendance, but continued their support long after their boys graduated. Jim is currently a member of the finance committee. The Edwards are current supporters of Niagara Catholic. George Edwards Jewelers has been a corporate sponsor for multiple fundraisers and both George and his wife volunteer their time for fundraisers and alumni events.
Marra has been working with local Catholic schools since the late 1990s. He is a member of the Niagara Falls Catholic Schools Network and was instrumental in mergers, openings and closings of several Catholic schools. Marra was previously awarded the St. Joseph the Worker Award for his untiring efforts in his parish.
Allen has spent decades as a teacher and administrator within several New York schools. He is currently the president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and remains active in his church. (photos by Barney Gallagher)