Kathy Welsh

Kathy Welsh

Eileen Bishop, Elena Wakeham, and Alice Heidecker were the 2017 adult recipients of Ulster County’s CYO’s second annual Shining Star Award. Photo provided

KINGSTON – Nearly 130 people gathered at the Catholic Charities Community Center in Kingston for the second annual Ulster County CYO Shining Stars Awards Ceremony and Brunch. The event honors adults and youth for outstanding contributions in their community.

The Shining Star adult honorees are selected from nominations by either their parish priest or a local community leader.

The 2017 Adult Shining Stars are: Eileen Bishop from St. Augustine Church of Highland for her involvement with CYO basketball, Alice Heidecker of St. Charles Borromeo of Gardiner for her work as a Catechism teacher, and Elena Wakeham, a parishioner of St. Mary’s Parish in Washingtonville, for her commitment to Catholic Scouting programs. Each honoree was presented with a commemorative plaque by Ulster County CYO Director Walter Gaceta who served as the event’s master of ceremonies.

Julia Soule, a senior at John A. Coleman Catholic High School in Hurley, was among the 15 students recognized as a Shining Star by Ulster County CYO. Ulster County CYO Coordinator Walter Gaceta presented the award. Photo provided

The Shining Star Youth Award was created to recognize Ulster County youth who have made a positive impact on their school, parish, or community and serve as a role model to their fellow students.

Honorees are nominated by their school principal or pastor and may be from any grade level.

This year, 15 young people were recognized as Shining Stars.

Each honoree received a personalized plaque and their parish priest was presented with a perpetual plaque which included the new honoree’s name.
The 2017 Shining Star Youth Honorees are:

  • Julia Soule – John A. Coleman High School, Hurley
  • Makenna Black – Kingston Catholic School
  • Peter Traudt – Kingston Catholic School
  • Anthony James (AJ) Miressi – St. Mary/St. Peter Parish, Kingston
  • Rosalind Bendell – St. Joseph’s Church, New Paltz
  • Samantha Musso – St. Joseph’s Church, New Paltz
  • Makayla Wynn – St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Gardiner
  • Emily Lyman – St. Peter’s Church, Rosendale
  • Jared Lyman – St. Peter’s Church, Rosendale
  • Monroe Maki – St. John’s Parish, Woodstock
  • Caleb Smith – St. John’s Parish, Woodstock
  • Audrey Delessio – St. John’s Parish, Woodstock
  • Charles Benfer – St. Mary’s Church, Marlboro
  • RJ Wood – St. Mary’s Church, Marlboro
  • Luke Borchert – St. Mary’s Church, Marlboro

Father Thomas Dicks, pastor at St. Mary’s Church in Marlboro, received the Ulster County CYO Shining Stars perpetual plaque which now includes the names of 2017 honorees Luke Borchert, RJ Wood, and Charles Benfer from St. Mary’s parish. Photo provided

“We are thankful for the many contributions that both our adult and youth Shining Stars make to our community,” said Gaceta. “They are leaders and role models who embrace the Catholic Charities’ mission to provide help and create hope and we are exceptionally grateful for their selfless dedication to helping others.”

For more information about the Shining Stars awards, or to nominate an honoree for 2018, contact Walter Gaceta at 845.340.9170, x 107 or walter.gaceta@archny.org.

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