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2016 St. Thomas More Award Luncheon

On Friday, October 7th, we attended the 2016 St. Thomas More Award Luncheon that was put on by the Lawyers Guild of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland which took place at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center.

img_5112As its website read, "the Guild fosters spiritual growth and fellowship within the legal community, encourages observance of high ethical standards, and calls attention to legal and societal issues that affect morality, justice and faith."

We were fortunate to share a table with Mr. Daniel E. Thiel who sits on the Executive Committee of the Guild. Also at our table were Mr. Gary Johnson from Weston Hurd, LLP; Mr. R. Eric Smearman from Smith Marshall, LLP; and Mr. Brian M. McDonough, Assistant United States Attorney with the U.S. Dept. of Justice. During lunch immigration emerged as a discussion topic at our table and Mr. Thiel talked to the others about requirments for politcal asylum and the conditions in the immigration courts.

As we ate, a special award of recognition was handed out to Mr. Mark and Ms. Christi Tripodi who founded Cornerstone of Hope back in 2003. Mr. and Mrs. Tripodi told the poignant story of how the death of their small child and the subsequent counseling by Bishop Pilla lead to the creation of this organization which, as its mission statement read, "is dedicated to providing support, education, and hope for the grieving."img_5113

The popular recipient of the St. Thomas More Award was Mr. Michael J. Frantz, Partner at Frantz Ward LLP. A press release from the Guild stated that this award was "named in honor of the Catholic Statesman who served with integrity and held on to his values in spite of fierce opposition."

Mr. Frantz was very moved by the tribute and spoke for a few minutes about his family and how grateful he was to his parents for instilling in him the values that helped him to succeed and be of service to others. We read over Mr. Frantz's biography and were amazed by the number of human services, educational, church, and community organizations that he has contributed to over the years.

Between having lunch and listening to the awards presentation, we had time to walk around the banquet hall and visit with a number of friends. Among these were Mr. Raymond J. Marvar and Sister Judith Karam who were both present at the Huntington Convention Center the previous evening when Ms. Margaret W. Wong received the Caritas Award from St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. They said that it was a shame that we were not there (i.e. because we were at the Beck Center where Ms. Wong received recognization for her contributions to a scholarship for young Hispanic artists) because the evening was beautiful.


Michael Patterson 

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC