Bishop’s dinner draws record crowd


The 21st Annual Bishop’s Dinner for Catholic Schools brought in record numbers to celebrate the importance of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Sioux City.

The nearly 800 attendees at the Oct. 1 dinner at the Sioux City Convention Center enjoyed featured speaker Greg McDermott, head men’s basketball coach at Creighton University.

“Coach McDermott did an amazing job,” said Kristie M. Arlt, director of communications and development. “His passion, love and dedication to Catholic education is phenomenal.”

She acknowledged attendees approached her following the dinner saying they thought this was “the best dinner we had ever had.”

“McDermott was engaging and the educators love to hear the positive reinforcement that they are doing a great job in a profession that can be difficult sometimes,” Arlt said. “He commended the teachers, administrators and staff on their dedication to Catholic schools.”

The chair couple for the dinner, Jody and Gina Sitzmann of Sioux City, expressed their continued support of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Sioux City.

“Every year we are blessed with working with amazing chair couples,” said Arlt. “Jody and Gina were no exception. Their passion and dedication to, not only our community and Catholic schools, but to their faith was evident.”


More than $20,000 in new sponsorships came in for the dinner this year, Arlt noted.

“Our sponsors continue to be generous year after year,” she said. “They are asked from a lot of different not-for-profits, so we really appreciate their investment in our schools. They see the value of Catholic education just like the bishop does.”

The sponsorship money goes 100 percent back to the schools through instructional grants, which pay for textbooks, technology and continuing education for teachers.

Overall the dinner brought in a total of $185,000 – sponsorships, donations, tickets and in-kind contributions. Eighty dollars of every full-priced ticket goes back to the school of the ticket holder’s choice.

“Proceeds from the dinner go directly back to the schools – 100 percent after expenses,” said Arlt. “It was generous for Coach McDermott and his wife Theresa to donate $10,000 back to the Bishop’s Dinner.”

Besides the students who were ushers, there were about six students in attendance due to a reduced, student ticket price this year. Lexa Hawkins, development and research coordinator, pointed out one family from Carroll brought their children because the student ticket made bringing the whole family affordable.

Sense of community

The bishop and the development office look forward to putting this dinner on every year to benefit the schools, Arlt commented.

“We greatly appreciate those who take the time (to come to the dinner). Some drive across the diocese to make it to the dinner,” she said. “It is great to look out into that crowd of 800 teachers, administrators, staff, donors, parents, students, clergy and religious. It is wonderful to see our Catholic community come together to celebrate Catholic schools.”

Though the dinner was back on a Sunday night this year, future dinners may be on a Saturday night depending on the availability of the speaker.

“We are hoping to move it back to Saturday for next year,” said Arlt. “A lot of the teachers, administrators and staff really appreciated having it on Saturday night last year.”


  • The Catholic School Foundation was established in 1987 and started the Bishop’s Dinner.
  • All proceeds from sponsorship money goes back to schools for textbooks, technology and teacher education.
  • Eighty dollars of every full priced ticket goes back to the school of the donor’s choice.
  • The money that goes back to schools from ticket sales can be used as the school sees fit (unrestricted funds).

Sponsors for Bishop’s Dinner for Catholics Schools

Bishop’s Leadership   ($10,000 & Above)

Central Bank – Storm Lake

KCAU Channel 9 – Sioux City

James and Jameley Levich – Sioux City

Powell Broadcasting – Sioux City

Superintendent’s Leadership ($5,000 – $9,999)

Jet Co. Trailers – Humboldt

L.P. Gill Inc. – Jackson, Neb.

Mollet Industrial Group – Brad & Jean Mollet – Jefferson, S.D.

President’s Leadership ($3,500 – $4,999)

Artisan Press – Sioux City

Avery Brothers – Sioux City

H&R Construction – South Sioux City, Neb.

Wells Fargo – Sioux City

Principal’s Leadership ($2,500 – $3,499)

Dan and Cris Berger – McCook Lake, S.D.

Briar Cliff University – Sioux City

Catholic Mutual – Omaha, Neb.

Electric Innovations/Thompson Electric  – Sioux City

Foulk Bros Plumbing & Heating – Sioux City

Innovative Benefit Consultants – Sioux City

King Reinsch Prosser & Co LLP – Sioux City

Klinger Companies, Inc. – Sioux City

Most Reverend R. Walker Nickless – Sioux City

Rick Collins Toyota – Sioux City

Security National Bank – Sioux City

Jody and Gina Sitzmann – Sioux City

The Swanson Group – West Des Moines

Chaplain’s Leadership ($1,000 – $2,499)

American PopCorn – Sioux City

Jim and Deb Auen  – Carroll

Availa Bank – Carroll

BlankenshipMeier Painting & Decorating – North Sioux City, S.D.

Brown Wegher Construction – North Sioux City, S.D.

Chuck & Marian Burnett – North Sioux City, S.D.

Roger and Rosemary Clausen – Okoboji

Custom Woodworks, Ltd – Sioux City

C W Suter Services – Sioux City

DLR Group – Omaha, Neb.

Mark & Brenda Eganhouse – Sioux City

Fairview Company, Inc – Carroll

FiberComm – Sioux City

Mike and Janet Flanagan – Sioux City

Joe and Liz Kellen – Alton

Chuck & Kay Kellen – Le Mars

LS Investment Advisors, LLC –  Milwaukee, Wis.

Mercy Medical Center – Sioux City

Metro Electric – Sioux City

Moore, Heffernan Moeller Johnson & Meis LLP – Sioux City

Northwest Iowa Bone, Joint & Sports Surgeons – Spencer

Orange City Health System – Orange City

Paul Davis Restoration – Sioux City

Royce and Kathy Ranniger – Sioux City

Rawlings Ellwanger Jacobs Mohrhauser & Nelson, LLP – Sioux City

Sioux City Convention Center – Sioux City

Sneaky’s Chicken/Coldstone Creamery – Sioux City

St. Anthony Regional Hospital – Carroll

Deacon Joe and Mary Straub – Whittemore

Karen Waldschmitt – Remsen

Dr. Patrick and Lori Walsh – Jefferson, S.D.

Willett Insurance, Inc – Alton

Wiltgen Bros, Inc – Le Mars

Friends of Catholic Education     ($500 – $999)

Agriland Inc. Farm Management Realty – Spencer

Blue Earth Marketing – Sioux City

Catholic Charities – Sioux City

Conception Abbey/Conception Seminary College – Conception, Mo.

Larry and Diane Donnelly – Elk Point, S.D.

Tom & Sue Fitzpatrick – Storm Lake

Guntren Trucking, LLC – Sioux City

Hahn Roofing – Fort Dodge

Hy-Vee Food Stores – Sioux City

Marian Home & Marian Village – Fort Dodge

James McGuire – Holstein

Merry Maids – Sioux City

Morningside College – Sioux City

Office Systems – Sioux City

Plains Boiler Services – Sioux City

Jim & Sherri Rossiter – Sioux City

Rudolph Shoes – Sioux City

Schuster Company – Le Mars

SilverStone Group – Omaha, Neb.

Sioux Body Shop  – Sioux City

Siouxland Federal Credit Union – Sioux City

Siouxland Women’s Magazine – Sioux City

Thomas A. Snyder – Sheldon

Steier Group – Omaha, Neb.

Total Motors – Le Mars

Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield – Des Moines

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