'Dedicated and faithful' friends honored as TMP Points of Light
By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
Each year at homecoming, the alumni association at Thomas More Prep-Marian High School honors some individuals or couples who have made significant contributions to the Catholic school in a variety of ways.
The award is called Points of Light. But these folks usually doesn't want any light shining on them.
Talk to any one of those receiving the award on any given year, and they will tell you they are honored, but humbled because "there are so many people who are doing great things out there."
Those were the words of one of this year's winners, Rosie Werth, who was selected along with her husband, Frank, as "dedicated alumni and faithful friends."
Others who will be recognized at Saturday's alumni banquet and will ride down Main Street in this evening's homecoming parade are Ron and Rhonda Flax, Greg and Pam Schmidt and Don and Jolene Moore.
The Flaxes are in the same category as the Werths as alumni, while the Schmidts and Moores were selected as "dedicated and faithful friends."
The Werths definitely fit the alumni mold.
Frank is a 1960 graduate of St. Joseph Military Academy, and Rosie is a 1961 graduate of Girls' Catholic High School. Both of those schools are predecessors of TMP.
Rosie was one of 13 children of Celestine and Minnie Pfannenstiel -- 11 are TMP alumni -- and four of the Werth's five children, as well as five grandchildren, are graduates, too.
Rosie keeps busy volunteering in the alumni office and especially is proud two of her granddaughters, Samantha and Tyra Younie, are current students there.
Rosie said she and her husband have missed only about five alumni banquets in the 50-plus years since their graduation from TMP.
Last year, they were surprised when they were honored at the banquet as the distinguished alumni award winners.
This year, the surprise came earlier than homecoming when they received a letter in the mail informing them of their honor.
"Oh, I don't know what to say," Rosie began, while trying to describe yet another honor from her alma mater. "We all just all do what we can to help. There are a lot of people helping in a lot of ways."
That comment was no surprise.
Ron and Rhonda Flax
Ron graduated from TMP in 1975 and Rhonda, in 1977, and all three of their children followed suit.
With all the projects the couple has participated in through the years, the most notable probably is Ron's creation and refurbishment of the school's baseball and softball complex and both Ron's and Rhonda's work on landscaping projects around the campus.
The Flaxes also have served twice as co-chairs of the Auction for Christian Education, the school's main fundraiser for the year that has raised more than $4.5 million since its inaugural auction in 1975.
Greg and Pam Schmidt
All three of the Schmidts' sons graduated from TMP, where the couple has been involved for many years in various projects and organizations.
Like numerous TMP alumni, the Schmidts still are active at the school even after their last son graduated in 2009.
They not only are volunteers, but also leaders, for numerous events, including planning and working the school's centennial celebration in 2008 and helping with the auditorium renovation project.
Don and Jolene Moore
The Moores are originally from Clyde but stayed in Hays to work and raise a family after graduating from Fort Hays State University.
They chose Catholic education for both their daughters, who graduated from TMP in the early 1990s.
In addition to volunteering for a myriad of tasks at school activities, the Moores have served on the ACE decorating committing for more than 25 years, and Jolene, a certified public accountant, has volunteered her services to the TMP Endowment Association.