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Richard Tobin Benevolence Awards

Established nearly two decades ago, these awards honor our agents' success and causes or organizations significant to them and their community.

Each year, Catholic Order of Foresters' top 20 agents earn Richard Tobin Benevolence Awards. These awards, established in 2006, are made possible through Catholic Order of Foresters' Welfare and Relief Fund. The late High Chief Ranger Richard Tobin created this fund to allocate money for fraternal good. Each agent who earns a Richard Tobin Benevolence Award chooses a Catholic organization to receive the $500 donation - we've seen schools, religious groups, pro-life causes and more from around the country benefit. To date, $140,000 has been donated to local and/or Catholic organizations as a result of these awards. 

AWARDED IN 2020 

Richard Tobin Award Recipients PY 2019

Ryan Maschmeyer | Union, Kentucky

Ryan chose to donate the proceeds to Go Pantry in Florence, Kentucky. “Knowing that Catholic Order of Foresters’ top agents earn the award, I was proud to be recognized for the work I did in helping my clients during the past year,” he said. Go Pantry is an organization that provides food to local children who do not have enough to eat at home. The pantry and volunteers provide GO BOXES and GO BAGS for children during school breaks and weekends during the school year, respectively. “The thought of one hungry child pulls our heart strings,” the organization’s website reads. “The idea of many hungry children makes us get up and do something.”

As for why Ryan chose Go Pantry to receive the donation, he explained how having a stocked pantry at home can be taken for granted. “There are kids in my community who don’t have that luxury,” he elaborated. “With schools being closed due to COVID-19, Go Pantry has been an extra valuable resource to many families during these times.” The donation will fill GO BOXES – which supply multiple meals – and provide nutritional food to children who would not otherwise have access to such food.

 

AWARDED IN 2019

Anthony Owens | Columbus, Nebraska
This is first time Anthony has won the award. He
chose to donate the proceeds associated with the award to Missionary Benedictine Sisters in Norfolk. “The sisters run a facility that hosts a variety of great spiritual events,” Owens explained when asked why he chose this organization. “A couple of them used to teach at my elementary school.” Anthony Owens’ brother, Tyson Owens, also received a Richard Tobin Benevolence Award this year.

Brian Marketon | Delano, Minnesota
Brian, an agent in COF’s Central Minnesota Agency, chose two different organizations to receive the proceeds of his award: Holy Trinity School in Winsted, Minn., and St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Delano, Minn. “This is a small K-12 Catholic school,” he said of Holy Trinity. “If there is any way to support the school, I like to do so.” Holy Trinity School will use the $250 donation for the gym floor restoration project. St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish will use the $250 donation it received for the marriage enrichment programs. “There are new programs starting this year, and these funds will help get those programs off the ground,” Brian explained, adding that he wants to support the growth in any way he can.

Frank Bradley | Denmark, Wisconsin
He donated the money associated with the award to St. James Church - where the money will be used to purchase new bibles for the parish - and to All Saints in Denmark where the Catholic school will use the money to purchase books. He chose these organizations because of their Catholic values. 

Jim Pappas | Westville, Indiana
General Agent Jim Pappas chose to donate the proceeds associated with the award to St. Mary Catholic Church in Griffith, Ind. The donation will be used for Totus Tuus, a program the church hosts. 

Kelly Mauer | Plainview, Nebraska
He chose to donate the proceeds to St. Paul’s Relief Fund in Plainview. “Recent flooding has affected many statewide,” Kelly said when asked why he chose this cause. “Volunteering time is important, but funds are also needed to replace the basic necessities of daily living.” The donation will be used purchase either daily living supplies or building materials to help families or businesses recover.

Dan Zentner | Cedar Rapids, Nebraska
He chose to donate the proceeds to the Primrose Fire Department and the Cedar Rapids Fire Department. The departments will use the donation for bunker gear updates. “Cedar Rapids Fire works closely with Primrose Fire Department,” Dan, who volunteers with the Cedar Rapids Fire Department, said. “As a member, I know funds are needed to keep things going.”

Roger Klein | Arcadia, Wisconsin
General Agent Roger Klein He chose to donate the proceeds associated with the award to Holy Family School in Arcadia. “The school is growing in enrollment,” Roger said of why he chose the organization. “So much so that we are building an addition!” The money will be used for text books and computers to benefit students’ education.

Janet Woods | Gilbertville, Iowa
General Agent Janet Woods chose to donate the money associated with the award to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. “Immaculate Conception is my hometown parish where I have received all of my sacraments,” Woods said. “They've recently ordained a new priest from this parish and also have a parishioner who will be ordained a deacon soon.” The money will assist the parish in purchasing vestments for the new deacon. 

Tom Kaelin | Fort Wright, Kentucky
General Agent Tom Kaelin chose to donate the money associated with the award to Sisters of Divine Providence in Melbourne, Kentucky. Tom's aunt, Sr. Jane Francis, has devoted her life to the Sisters and inspired Tom along the way. “She has been a faithful servant and blessing to so many people,” he said. “She has touched so many lives through prayer, hard work, gentle words, and a kind heart. Over the years I have become acquainted with many of the sisters, and they are so welcoming. To visit them is such a joy.” The Sisters will use the donation to live out their mission of being living witnesses to the Providence of God. 

Tyson Owens | Columbus, Nebraska
He chose to donate the proceeds associated with the award to St. Bonaventure Catholic School. When asked why he chose this organization, Owens said, “Students learn very early on that Christ is present and active in their lives.” He continued, “They see God's love all around them every day at school. The students become instruments of God's grace in the world. We are truly blessed to have St. Bonaventure Catholic School in our community.” The donation will be used to help students grow in their faith and education. 

Rich Oligmueller | Jackson, Nebraska
General Agent Richard Oligmueller chose to donate the proceeds from the award to Jackson Public Library in Jackson, Neb. “The donation will be used for the summer reading program and incentives and activities,” he said. “It’s a small community library. The donation will be very helpful.”

Ryan Maschmeyer | Cold Spring, Kentucky
He 
earned a Richard Tobin Benevolence Award for the ninth consecutive year. This significant award is given to Catholic Order of Foresters’ top 20 agents each year award who then choose a Catholic organization to receive the $500 associated with the award. Ryan chose Rose Garden Mission to receive the donation this year. “As a parent of two children with a third on the way, I know the excitement that comes along with having a new baby…along with the variety of items parents need as they welcome a baby into the world,” he says. The Pregnancy and Support Program at Rose Garden Mission provides pregnancy care services and essential baby items for people in need. The donation will be used to purchase “new baby welcome baskets”, which are a part of the Pregnancy and Support Program.

AWARDED IN 2018

Tyson Owens | Columbus, Nebraska
He chose Night Out for Norah, an annual fundraiser held in Kentucky, benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – Central Cincinnati Chapter to receive the money associated with the award. The money will be used towards finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. “My wife Jasper and I recently got a chance to meet Norah Cooney and her tremendous family. She is a brave little girl. We recently became aware of the event and felt this was the perfect place for the donation to benefit,” Owens explained. Contact Tyson and become a member today!

Janet Woods | Waterloo, Iowa
General Agent Janet Woods chose the Fire Foundation of Northeast Iowa to receive the money associated with the award. The money will be used for grants providing Catholic schools the tools and resources necessary for the inclusion of students with disabilities. “The Fire Foundation of Northeast Iowa provides children with special needs the opportunity for an inclusive Catholic education in their home parish schools,” Janet explained. Contact Janet and become a member today!

Ryan Maschmeyer | Fort Wright, Kentucky
He chose St. Henry District High School of Erlanger, Ky., to receive the money associated with the award. The donation will be used for the school’s “Building on Excellence, Guided by Faith” campaign to raise money for a major expansion at the high school. “St. Henry provided me with a solid foundation that prepared me for college and beyond. I want to support them as the school grows and they provide quality Catholic education to other students,” Ryan shared. Contact Ryan and become a member today!

Frank Bradley | Denmark, Wisconsin
He chose St. James Church Steeple Fund and St. James Church Choir of Denmark to receive the money associated with the award. Contact Frank and become a member today!

Roger Klein | Arcadia, Wisconsin
General Agent Roger Klein chose Holy Family Catholic Church of Arcadia to receive the money associated with the award. Roger chose the parish to benefit the Catholic school and their dedication to a Catholic education. In the photo below, he's on the left, presenting the check to Holy Family Catholic Parish. Contact Roger and become a member today!

Roger Klein Tobin Award

 

Kelly Mauer | Plainview, Nebraska
Kelly earned a Richard Tobin Benevolence Award from Catholic Order of Foresters. He chose the Plainview Ministerial Association of St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Plainview, Neb. to receive the money associated with the award. The money will be used for monthly food distribution to families with low income. “This organization reaches out to a number of citizens both young and old of any faith,” Kelly shared. Contact Kelly and become a member today!

Eric Vieth | Fort Thomas, Kentucky
He earned a Richard Tobin Benevolence Award from Catholic Order of Foresters. He chose the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati (DSAGC) to receive the money associated with the award. The money will be used in support of one of DSAGC’s largest fundraisers, the Buddy Walk. The walk is one of the largest in the nation supporting individuals with Down Syndrome. Eric’s family has been supporting the event for 10 years. “DSAGC is near and dear to my heart. My son Carson has Down Syndrome. Over the years, my entire family has gotten involved with DSAGC, [as they] are a leading advocate for Down Syndrome awareness and empowerment not only here in the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati area, but nationally,” Eric shared. Contact Eric and become a member today!

Dan Zentner | Cedar Rapids, Nebraska
Dan, pictured below on the left, earned a Richard Tobin Award from Catholic Order of Foresters. He chose St. Anthony Catholic Church of Cedar Rapids to receive the money associated with the award. St. Anthony is the lifelong parish of Dan and his wife, Kerri, and the donation will go towards parish center repairs. Contact Dan and become a member today!

Dan Zentner Tobin Award

 

Mark Hehman | Fort Mitchell, Kentucky
He chose Drew’s Puzzle Piece, Inc. of Fort Wright to receive the money associated with the award. Drew’s Puzzle Piece, Inc. is a foundation formed to bring awareness to Autism and benefits the Ken Anderson Alliance, a nonprofit that creates live, work and play opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. Contact Mark and become a member today!

Randy Nix | North Olmsted, Ohio
He chose BirthRight, Inc., of Lakewood, Ohio, to receive the monetary donation associated with the award. He chose this organization because, “The focus is on life – life of the mother who comes to them for help and that of her unborn child,” Nix said. The money will be used to advance BirthRight in its mission to assist pregnant women through counseling, pregnancy testing, and referrals to community resources, in addition to making maternity clothing and supplies for babies available to women and babies. Contact Randy and become a member today!

Donald Rupp | Dubuque, Iowa
He chose Aquinas Communications, Inc. to receive the money associated with the award. The money will be used for programs and expenses for the faith-based radio station. Contact Don and become a member today! 

Richard Kuhar | Brecksville, Ohio
He chose St. Vincent de Paul Society to receive the money, $500, associated with the award. The donation will be used to provide meals for those in need. 

James Pappas | Merrillville, Indiana
General Agent Jim Pappas chose LANE: Living A New Experience Fund to receive the money associated with the award. The LANE fund is a not-for-profit establish through the American Endowment Foundation, the leader in independent donor advised funds in the U.S., helping donors achieve their charitable legacy. The LANE fund believes small acts will achieve big dreams, as Lane, James’ grandson, was able to do. Contact James and become a member today!

Antonio Alvarado | Arlington Heights, Illinois
He chose Renovacion Carismatica Catolica Hispana (RCCH), in association with the Archdiocese of Chicago, to receive the money associated with the award. The money will be used towards RCCH’s radio program. “RCCH is a movement within the Catholic Church that has transformed people’s lives with the help of gifts from the Holy Spirit,” Antonio explained. Contact Antonio and become a member today!

Antonio Alvarado Tobin Award

 

Tom Kaelin | Cold Spring, Kentucky
General Agent Tom Kaelin chose the "Cross the Bridge for Life" event of the Diocese of Covington as the recipient for the money associated with the award. “'Cross the Bridge for Life’ is a wonderful opportunity to stand up for the sanctity of human life. My contribution will help provide [the chance to participate] for thousands of local people. I am excited to show my support to the community,” Tom shared. Contact Tom and become a member today!

Tom Kaelin presenting check

Please note, not every winner is listed above. 
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