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Folgerts Chosen For Touhey Award Recipients

For their countless hours of volunteering at St. Thomas Aquinas Academy in Marinette, Michael and Anita Folgert of the Town of Peshtigo have been chosen by the Catholic Central High School Foundation to receive the 2013 Touhey Award . They will be honored at a reception Saturday, May 11 at Best Western Riverfront Inn in Marinette starting at 6 p.m.

Mike and Anita are both very active not only at St. Thomas but also in the community. Mike serves as the Town of Peshtigo Fire Chief, a position he has held for the past three years. He has been on the department since 1986. He is also a 3rd degree Knights of Columbus.

Over the years Mike has coached 4th and 5th grade flag football and basketball at Holy Family Grade School . He was on the parish council for six years, serving as president for two of the years. He also served on the committee that renamed Marinette Catholic Central High School to St. Thomas Aquinas Academy.

A native of Milwaukee, he is an Area Forestry Supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources in Peshtigo. He has worked for the DNR since 1979. He remains active in the fire service in numerous capacities. He is president of the newly formed Division 144 MABAS Marinette County organization and is chairman of the 911 Users Committee in addition to his responsibilities as Town of Peshtigo Fire Chief.

Anita Folgert is a native of Muskego and has been volunteering at Holy Family School library since 1990. In 1991 she was hired at the school as a library aide and continued to work in that capacity until she was hired during the 1999 school year for a similar position at Marinette Catholic Central High School, which is now St. Thomas Aquinas Academy. She also works part-time in the office of GFS Machine in Peshtigo.

The couple were married on Oct. 4, 1980 at St. Leonard Parish in Muskego. Three of their four children are currently officers in the US Army.

Nikolas, 29, is a captain in the US Army, and will deploy to Afghanistan at the end of May. He and his wife, Krista have two girls and one on the way. A son, Nathan, 27, also is a captain in the US Army. Daughter, Kirstyn, 25, works at JC Penny Store in Marinette, and the youngest child, Erin, 23, is a Lieutenant in the US Army. He is married to the former Kiley Hayes.

“We truly feel honored and humbled to receive the Touhey award,” stated Mike, “but you can’t help feeling there are more people deserving of the honor. We do what we do because we believe in Catholic education and how important it is to have a choice in schools. Having St. Thomas Aquinas in Marinette kept us here. We wanted our children to have a quality Catholic education.”

All four Folgert children have gone through school at Holy Family and St. Thomas. “Anita and I want to do our part in keeping the school system going. We also want to be good role models to our children and show them how important volunteering is,” he said, as an explanation of the work he and Anita contribute on behalf of the school and the community.

For 12 years, the Folgerts have worked as cooks and servers for Octoberfest. They have also chaired the Pie Booth for the school’s annual auction since 1999. Other volunteer work at the school includes painting, grass cutting, shoveling, moving rooms around. “Whatever needs to get done the Folgerts are willing to assist,” a member of the Touhey selection committee said of the couple.

“It’s all about family and friends and being a part of the community,” declared Mike. “We are truly blessed to be able to do our part.”

Criteria for the Touhey Award are that candidates must exemplify the ideals of St. Thomas Aquinas Academy through their personal example. These values include:

*A Christian insight to living;

*Effective service to others in the love of God; and

*A desire for growth and learning which is evident beyond their years of formal education.

Selection committee members this year were Mary Kay Selsor, Sue Knapp, Dale Lange, Howard Sorenson, Frank Faucett, Dean Magnin, Kathy Herning, Barb Koch and Mary Girard.

Prior recipients were Lawrence Drees, Mary and Dean Magnin, Mary Staudenmaier, Mary and Glenn Hamilton, Shirley and Bob Thiesen, Barb and Doug Koch, Eleanore and Jim Roberts, Kathy and Steve Herning, Marge Bruemmer, Judy Urbanski, Gary Crandall, Dale Lange, Bill and Mary Walker and Cris and Frank Faucett.

The Margaret Touhey Award was instituted at the December 1984 meeting of the Catholic Central High School Board of Education. It was named for Margaret Touhey, one of the five members of the original graduating class from St. Mary’s Institute, which later became Our Lady of Lourdes High School, then Catholic Central High School, and now is part of St. Thomas Aquinas Academy.

Margaret Touhey eventually joined the Sisters of Mercy based in Portland, Maine, and took the name of Sister Mary Xaveria. Through her efforts the State of Maine in 1915 granted a charter to St. Joseph’s College, the first college for women in that state. Sister Mary Xaveria became the first dean of the college and designed plans for some of the original buildings.

Events Saturday evening begin at 6 p.m. with refreshments and hors d’ oeuvres. The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. with Mary Kay Selsor as master of ceremonies. The event is open to the public. The foundation is asking for a $20 donation per person. Anyone wishing to attend may contact Mary Kay Selsor at 715-735-6839


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