REMSEN – The Avalon Ballroom was aglow with décor of twinkle lights, tables decked with white table cloths, creative center pieces of tall gold or silver vases with colorful floral arrangements at the Remsen St. Mary’s Ball on April 29. The theme for this 26th Annual Ball was Don’t Stop Believin’.
The program began soon after the meal catered by Home Plate of Granville with the chair-couple Tim and Connie Begnoche thanking the various people and committees who helped prepare for the evening and the guests for coming.
Auctioneer Jim Klein was introduced to begin the Name the RSM Gym auction. Max Treinen was the winner of that contest with a bid of $6,400. Next was the reverse auction with the dollars to go for a new boiler for St. Mary’s High School, with $61,000 raised.
Dean Harpenau and Bob Augustine, both graduates of RSM, Class of 1985, spoke at the event. The two were classmates at Mount Marty College in Yankton and ended up in a writing course where they were asked to write about someone who had impacted both of them.
Harpenau held up the script that he and Augustine came up with and read it to the audience. It described Marv Thelen, who influenced his students, as well as fellow teachers and community members.
Harpenau explained he was personally motivated by a simple statement when he was a junior, “Dean, you’re going to play baseball on a scholarship somewhere,” Thelen told him.
Harpenau was a pitcher in two state tournaments and got numerous college scholarship offers, all because of a few words by Thelen that changed his life. Harpenau finished his speech on a note of thanks for the blessings of Thelen’s wisdom, philosophy, and love.
Augustine’s insights echoed Harpenau’s about Thelen’s attributes. He told of the locker where Thelen kept brand new baseball gloves that he would give to a player in need that he had purchased from his own resources. He declared that students were nurtured and molded by leaders who cared.
“Talent will fail if you are not skilled and committed to hard work,” Augustine insisted. “Your talent is going to fail if you are not dedicated to developing your skills.”
Augustine conveyed that he and his wife Margie have been sending their six children to a Catholic school because they believe what they are learning is an extension of the values and beliefs they are teaching and modeling in their home.