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Petzel: Variety spices up St. Gerald’s talent show

Updated: April 4, 2013 6:08AM



Greetings, fellow Oak Lawnians!

Members of St. Gerald Parish in Oak Lawn got the chance to showcase their talent at the annual dinner-dance on Feb. 2. This year’s theme was “St. Gerald’s Got Talent,” and like last year, the event was held at the Lexington House in Hickory Hills.

Debbie Janicke, the development director for St. Gerald, said the idea for the theme came about after “throwing some ideas around. We’re just always looking for something new to do that people will enjoy.”

Contestants for the talent show were not required to audition, but they did have to be a member of the parish. Janicke said the response was good, and “we had a nice group of people. It’s all in good fun, and everyone was welcome to participate.”

There was no shortage of talent as event organizers lined up eight acts to entertain an audience of 200 by singing, dancing and doing stand-up comedy. The contestants were all adults and included the school principal, Al Theis, former associate pastor the Rev. Joji Thanugundla and parishioners. Janicke described the event as “more like a variety show” because of the differing acts.

Contestants were allowed five to eight minutes to perform. Janicke said “the principal (Theis) sang and told a really funny story. Father Joji told quite a few jokes and did an Indian dance from his country (South India). He also read bulletin bloopers, and some of them were so funny.”

Another crowd-pleasing act featured four members from the parish’s Holy Name Men’s Club and a woman from the Mother’s Club. The group all wore tights and sang and danced to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It).”

There were no judges to rate the performers and no prizes for the best act, but Janicke said the contestants “were brave enough to come out of their comfort zone, so that makes them all winners.”

Another highlight of the evening was when U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd), who attended the dinner-dance, surprised the church’s pastor, the Rev. Lawrence Malcolm, by presenting him with an American flag from the U.S. Capitol and a proclamation in honor of National Catholic Schools Week. Janicke said Rev. Malcolm was so surprised and he was beaming. ‘We’re very lucky to have a pastor like Father Malcolm. He’s always behind us and supports us and is very appreciative.”

The event — which included a silent auction, dinner and music by DJ Mike and Mama G — raised about $14,000 that will directly benefit St. Gerald School to meet expenses.

Congratulations to St. Gerald Parish and all the brave contestants who had a lot of fun and made the evening a big success!

Here are this week’s celebrity birthdays: Happy 13th birthday wishes to Jared Shipman from his grandma Cindi and “Poppy.” Aidan Raftery’s family wishes him a happy 15th birthday. Happy 16th birthday to Frank Murray from his parents Peg and Frank, sister and Bailey. Nikolas Siple is also celebrating his 16th birthday. Birthday wishes go out to Danielle Vanderwarren, who’s turning 16, to her sister Nicolette, who’s turning 19, and to their dad, Ron.

Moleigh Clare Carson’s parents, Kelly and Jeff, and sister Tara wish her a happy 17th birthday. Ellen and John Sinnot send birthday wishes to their daughter Erica, who’s turning 21. Happy 23rd birthday to Rosemary Maslanka from her parents, brother Nicholas and sister Michelle. Happy birthday to Samantha Stark, who’s turning 23, and to her aunt, Diane McLaren, from their family. Happy 25th birthday to Alyssa O’Connor from her dad Dennis, sister Holly and family. Happy birthday to Adam Lewis Clardy, who’s turning 33, from his parents and Jon, Aga, Valerie and Mark.

Happy birthday to Sharon (“Sharoney”) Mungia from her son Anthony and her parents. Linda Garvin’s family wishes her a happy birthday. Happy birthday to Brandon and Cameron Biel and also to their grandmother, Lorraine McGuire. Happy birthday to Lou D’Amore from the “Golf Kings.” Dave Kobak’s family and friends wish him a happy birthday. St. Patrick’s Day birthday wishes go out to Brian Feerick from his wife Carrie and Tulley and to Tom Torrance from his family.

Wedding anniversary wishes go out to Victor and Virginia Soltysiak on their 18th anniversary.

Keep your fellow Oak Lawnians informed about birthdays, special events or special “stuff”going on with your family or within the community. Call me at (708) 899-9544.

Until next time ...



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