Comedy & Cuisine 2024

A Benefit for Saint Cecilia
Cathedral Grade School


Our main event will be April 13, 2024

We are excited for you to participate in this event. Your support is greatly appreciated. Our event chairs and committees have put in countless hours to pull together high-quality items for you to bid on and win. Please patronize our event sponsors. Without their partnership and support this event could not happen.

Learn more and donate here!

2024 Co-Chairs

John & Maria Anderson

John and Maria Anderson are dedicated and passionate members of the St. Cecilia Cathedral Parish and School community. Their connection to the Cathedral began during their early childhood. John and his family often attended mass with his grandparents, Helen and Lake Anderson, who were active parishioners prior to their passing. As for Maria, she and her family celebrate the Philippines' annual Sinulog/Santo Nino Fiesta at the Cathedral. Both never foresaw that their childhood experiences would circle them back to what they consider the best place to raise a family in faith, love and service. They sought a school that would provide high-quality education, while instilling Catholic teachings. With small class sizes, traditions, welcoming teachers and staff, and award-winning education, St. Cecilia School was the perfect fit for their family. Residing in Papillion, John and Maria have four children - Amelia, Anastasia, Alessandra and Jack. Amelia is in 4th grade, and enjoys volunteering at nursing homes and homeless shelters with her family. Anastasia is in 1st grade, and loves to twirl her baton at local parades for Sue’s Stepperettes. Both girls LOVE playing soccer for the Cardinals, and playing the violin through the Omaha Conservatory of Music’s (OCM) String Sprouts Program. Alessandra and Jack will soon be joining them, but until then, they are in preschool at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart. John and Maria are active in the community. If she’s not at Duchesne Preschool teaching or running her own business, Maria is volunteering where she can. In the mornings, you may see her at the crosswalk directing traffic. She can also be found serving as the Secretary and Room Parent Coordinator for the Home & School Association, cutting potatoes for CathedralFest, assisting in the school office, and supporting teachers as their room parent. John is a Computer Scientist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He shares his love for soccer as the coach for the 4th grade girl’s team. As Co-Chairs of this year’s Comedy & Cuisine, they are thrilled to be part of leading an annual tradition that supports St. Cecilia Cathedral School's mission and educational programs. Together, with their Co-Chairs, they pray this year’s event will take the school to new heights and greater adventures for the students.

2024 Co-Chairs

Peter & Suzie Walsh

Peter and Suzie Walsh began their adventure at St. Cecilia in 2017 when they officially joined the parish and school. However, the family journey at the parish actually began years before when Pete's mother, Mary Ann, moved into the St. Cecilia Neighborhood after first arriving in Omaha. In 1980, she married Dan Walsh in the Cathedral. Today, that connection has come full circle—Pete and Suzie have two sons enrolled at St. Cecilia's, Weston in sixth grade, and Hank in fourth grade. The Walshes embrace the spirit of adventure through active work and personal lives. Suzie's passionate work in mental health, and Pete's work in culinary education and feeding kids embody their drive to make our community a better place. Soon after Wes and Hank settled into the school, Pete and Suzie found ways to support it. Suzie is a frequent volunteer in the classroom, stepping up as room parent for many years, and offering her time for various activities around campus. Peter has been involved in scouting leadership at St. Cecilia since 2017, helping to revitalize St. Cecilia's scouting units. He served as Cubmaster for Pack 100 from 2018 thru 2023 and continues to work on the leadership committee for both Pack 100 and Troop 100. The Walsh kids are active in both extracurricular activities at school and the whole family enjoys outdoor activities together. Pete and Suzie are humbled to serve as 2024 Co-Chairs alongside their friends, the Humpal and Anderson families. They look forward to helping lead another successful Comedy and Cuisine event and highlight the gifts and talents of all our little adventurers at St. Cecilia.

2024 Co-Chairs

Josh & Molly Humpal

Josh and Molly Humpal are excited to co-chair Comedy and Cuisine 2024! Molly comes from a long line of Cathedral families, starting with her father who attended the grade school in the 1960’s and lived on 41st and Cuming. Her mother graduated from Cathedral High School in 1980. Molly attended St. Cecilia grade school and graduated in 1999. Once her mother married into the infamous Stoffel family in 1996, the rest, as you could say, was history. For it was through her new family that she met her future husband, Josh, in 2006. Josh actually attended kindergarten at St. Cecilia’s, not knowing his future bride was just down the hall. Josh grew up in the St. Stanislaus parish with his parents and two brothers and his family was very involved with the school's sports program and fundraising arms. Molly and Josh were married in the Cathedral in 2013. They have five children who all attend or have graduated from St. Cecilia’s. Clara is a junior at Mercy High School and graduated from St. Cecilia’s in 2021, Hattie (4th), Cooper (3rd) and Etta (1st) are all current students and Peter (2) is a future Cardinal. Clara enjoyed the fine arts program while at St. Cecilia’s; she played the trumpet, sang in the choir and played various parts in the Operetta through the years. Hattie is an avid gymnast and plays soccer and basketball for St. Cecilia’s. She has played softball for her neighborhood little league as well. Cooper plays basketball for St. Cecilia’s and flag football and wrestling for Jr. Pride through Roncalli Catholic. He loves all things sports but probably enjoys playing baseball with all his St. C’s friends the most. Etta loves to sing and dance and has started piano lessons this year. They all can’t wait for Peter to begin Pre-K in two short years so he too can participate in all the things that they love about their school. Molly has taught at St. Cecilia’s for eleven years, in second and fifth grade, and fondly refers to the school as her “home away from home.” She spent ten years preparing her second graders for their First Holy Communion and First Reconciliation. During a year off in 2022, she enjoyed the other side of the classroom by substitute teaching and acting as kindergarten room parent for Etta’s class. As they have grown in the parish, Josh has enjoyed coaching Cooper’s soccer team, volunteering in the classroom, and helping out with Hattie’s basketball team. Josh and Molly also co-hosted the first Bingo Night at St. Cecilia with the rest of the 2024 Comedy and Cuisine Co-chairs in 2023. The adventure continues and the future is bright for the Humpals at St. Cecilia! They can’t wait to continue on their journey with all of you!

Al & Mary Lynn Vaccaro

Honorary Chairs

Al and Mary Lynn Vaccaro are long time parishioners who have donated their time, faith, love and compassion to both St. Cecilia school and church. Their adventure begins when Mary Lynn and Al were married at the Cathedral in July of 1977, as Mary Lynn had been a parishioner with her family since 1971. They raised their 2 children in the St. Cecilia school community: Tony, class of 1996 and Kelly, class of 1999. Tony and Kelly married their spouses at Cathedral, and are each continuing the Vaccaro family journey at St. C’s as parishioners. While Tony and Kelly were in school, the Vaccaros found joy in getting involved. They participate, volunteer and lead activities across the community and continue to do so today! Together, they were Co-Vice President and President of the Home and School Association, have been a host family for the Foreign Exchange Student Program and currently host the “Big Al’s Sausage Making Party” for Comedy and Cuisine silent auction winners. Mary Lynn has been an RCIA team member and Sponsor, a Grandparent’s Day Coordinator, a Member of the Women at the Well Faith Group and a Eucharistic Minister of Holy Communion. She currently enjoys being involved on the school campus wherever needed, and currently volunteers with the Funeral luncheons, the Kid’s School Lunch Program and in the grade school classrooms. Al has been the ABC Club President, a Eucharistic Minister of Holy Communion, Commissioner of the 3-Man Basketball League and the Alumni Basketball Tournament. For CathedralFest alone, Al has been a Co-Chair of the 3-Man Hoopfest, the Beer Garden and loves making 300 pounds of Italian Sausage and 35 gallons of spaghetti sauce for the Spaghetti Dinner each year. He currently serves as a 4th Degree Sir Knight and has been a past Grand Knight with the Knights of Columbus, Father Flanagan of Boys Town, Council 652. Their most recent adventures include spending time with their grandchildren who are currently and will be attending St. Cecilia grade school: Vinny (4th Grade), Mikey (Kindergarten), Emma (age 4) and Jack (age 2). Al and Mary Lynn continue their stewardship adventure because of their love for this community. And they pay it forward every day so others in the community can have the opportunity to experience the love and joy that they have felt all of these years.

Tammy Mateljan

Great Alum

St. Cecilia’s is home! I started at St. Cecilia’s in kindergarten, back when it was half days. In 1989, I graduated 8th grade. After starting my freshman year at another high school, I knew I wanted to be back at Cathedral. (I ended up meeting my future husband that very first week in biology class!). I am a proud Class of ‘93 alumni of Cathedral High School. After receiving my degree from University of Nebraska - Omaha (UNO), I spent a semester as a substitute teacher and I got married. That spring, Bonnie Pryor called me and asked if I wanted a job as a 3rd grade teacher. I immediately told her YES! 26 years, and three grades later, I’m right where I want to be. In 2021, I was recognized as one of the Archdiocese of Omaha’s Educators of the Year. I’ve had many moments that remind me why I got into education, but I truly believe that it was my foundation at St. Cecilia’s and Cathedral High School that led me on that path.

What is Comedy & Cuisine?

Comedy and Cuisine is an event to gather as a Saint Cecilia community to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of our school and raise funds to support the great work of the faculty and students. This event is an integral part of the support structure of our school.

The cost to educate each student continues to grow and we strive to keep tuition at an affordable level to allow all families that seek a Catholic education to send their children to Saint Cecilia School. Your support of this event is vital to our mission to educate students in a family atmosphere.

Why Do We Need Comedy & Cuisine?

Saint Cecilia Grade School is a vital part of Saint Cecilia Parish and the Saint Cecilia Community. It is funded through four primary sources: Parish Support, Tuition and Fees, Endowment Support, and Comedy & Cuisine. Without each of these resources, Saint Cecilia School would not exist. Comedy & Cuisine is a necessary and critical element in the school’s support system. Its donors, patrons, underwriters, advertisers, and bidders serve as the capstone to this support system.

Donations to Comedy & Cuisine continue to build our ministry to educate our children, prepare them to meet the challenges of the 21st Century, and fulfill our mission:
+ To teach and live the Catholic faith within a nurturing family-like community.
+ Teach reverence for life and respect for all.
+ Foster each student's academic potential.

Our School

Welcome to St. Cecilia Cathedral Grade School, an award-winning Catholic school in Omaha, Nebraska. Founded in 1907, St. Cecilia School educates a diverse population of children in PreKindergarten through 8th Grade. St. Cecilia School is committed to fostering a Christian learning environment and proclaiming and modeling faith, worship, service and prayer.

St. Cecilia's academic strength is built on strong parent involvement and a dedicated faculty that averages 18 years of experience. Our goal is to work with parents to provide their children an education of the highest quality and to build a strong foundation for success in high school and beyond.

St. Cecilia is a one-to-one school. Weekly technology classes are offered for all students (grades PreK – 8). We incorporate the use of technology to enhance and support our curriculum and to allow for personalized learning. All students in grades K – 8 are taught computer programming skills using various programs.

St. Cecilia Cathedral School goes beyond the normal academic curriculum. We feel that it is important to meet the differentiated needs of our students and provide opportunities to explore their interests.

St. Cecilia offers soccer (boys and girls PreK-8th), volleyball (girls 5th-8th), basketball (boys and girls 3rd-8th), and track (boys and girls 6th-8th).

What Activities Will Be Included?

Dining, Sharing, Laughing, Bidding, Buying!


Videos and Presentations of our Honorees
Silent Auction and Top of the Line Live Auction
Musical Entertainment
Lots of fun!

5:00 pm: doors open, bar open
6:00 pm: hors d’oeuvres and music
7:00 pm bidding ends for the silent auction
7:30 pm: dinner
8:00 pm: presentations to the honorees
8:30 pm: live auction
9:30 to 11:00 pm: band, bar open, chance to visit with other attendees

What Has the Event Help Fund?

Improvements, Construction, or Renovation:
Gymnasium and Stage
School Windows
School Cafeteria and Kitchen
Library and Reception Area
Science Lab and Equipment
Classroom Technology
School Restrooms
Athletic Equipment
Robotics Lab
Fire Safety Equipment and Systems
St. Bernadette Hall Furniture
Computers and Technology
STEAM Lab & Media Center.

Enhancements to Educational Services:
Kindergarten Program
Full Time Art Faculty
Part Time Resource Faculty
Continuing Education Fund for Faculty
Music and Drama Program
Faculty Scholarship
Financial Aid and Tuition Assistance
Reading Curriculum.

The dedication, generosity and hard work over the years of the annual event has raised over $2 million in support of our nationally recognized, award-winning school. 

 

Past Chairs


1998 Mike and Anne McGuire
1998 John and Joyce Passarelli
1999 Mark and Lori Winkler
2000 Rod and Mary Jewell
2001 Albert Macchietto and Michaela White
2002 Joe and Molly Lang
2003 Bill and Julie Erickson
2003 Alan and Denise Nunn
2004 John and Mary Beth Lindsay
2004 Alan Thelen and Sandy Maass Thelen
2005 Lee and Ellen Ehlers
2005 Brad and Cassandra Poeckes
2006 Matt and Sheryl Fitzgerald
2006 Fred and Ellie Grossman
2007 Brian and Jana Donahoe
2007 Tony and Laura Romero
2008 Tom and Kelly Hickey
2008 Ron and Robin Woita
2009 Mike and Martha O'Connor
2009 Rus and Marci Biven
2010 Michael and Kimberly Joyce
2010 Mike and Julie Swartz
2011 Christopher Burbach and Judith Nygren
2011 Brian and Lyn Rhoten
2012 Chip and Pam Maxwell
2012 David and Noelia Weber
2013 Jim and Tricia Elliston
2013 Frank Zitek and Shannon Sullivan-Zitek
2014 Jerry and Mary Lynne Bushman
2014 Tim and Pam Lammers
2015 Jim Dowse and Margie Gazinski
2015 Tim and Magan Smith
2016 Matt and Christi Schill
2016 John and Teresa Ryan
2017 Tom and Elizabeth McGuire
2017 Dan and Molly Haske
2018 Drew and Crystal Gerken
2018 Jay and Christine Koehn
2019 John-Paul and Lizzie Lehn
2019 Mike and Katie Schill
2020 Ryan and Erin Hagedorn
2020 Chris and Remý Kaslon
2021 Brad and Amanda Perry
2021 Tri and Tami Tran
2021 Jim and Erica Bush
2022 Eric and Molly Neuman
2022 Joe and Maura Niederee
2022 Trevor and Candice Towey
2023 Mac McLaughlin and Heather Gomes
2023 Chris and Danielle Lyons
2023 Tony and Shannon Vaccaro

Honorary Chairs
1999 Joe and Jeanne Barmettler
2000 Bob Matt
2001 John and Michaela Blazek
2002 Mary Lindsay
2003 Bob Soener
2004 Paul and Lori Hogan
2005 Mike and Ann Boyle
2006 Terry and Sue Wilwerding
2007 Larry and Karen Dwyer and Tom Dwyer
2008 Frank and Helen Matthews
2009 Barry & Mary Gerken and Bob & Mary Kay Gerken
2010 Deacon’s Joe Archibald, Dave Gurney, Fred Sommer, Jim Watson
2011 John and Joyce Passarelli
2012 Michael and Mary Beth Barmettler
2013 Tom and Betsy Morrison Family
2014 Tom and Jane Werner
2015 Previous Comedy and Cuisine chairs
2016 Paul and Janet Lehn family
2017 Phil and Emily Sauvageau
2018 Craig and Cathy Lyons
2019 Byron and Linda Stigge
2020 David and Michaela Doyle (event cancelled)
2021 David and Michaela Doyle
2022 Geoff and Lorraine Thiele
2023 Tony & Laura Romero

Honorees
2007 Great Teacher: Sister Marie Juan Maney
2007 Great Coach: Roger Higgins
2007 Great Principal: Bonnie Pryor
2008 Great Administrator: Molly Swiercek
2008 Great Teacher: Sr. Marie Patrice O’Donnell, OP
2009 Great Steward: Leo Batenhorst
2009 Great Family: Mitt and Mary Ellen Stoffel
2010 Great Family: Leo Wilwerding
2010 Great Faculty: Saint Cecilia Grade School
2011 Great Teachers: Sr. Marie Patrice O’Donnell, OP and Sr. Mary Duchesne Maxwell, OP
2013 Great Steward: Pete Larson
2013 Great Family Award: Roger and Donna Higgins
2014 Great Stewards: Dorothy and Alice Lammers
2014 Great Family: Lindsay
2015 Great Alum: Herbert Rhodes
2015 Great Teacher: Dorothy Buchan
2016 Great Priest: Reverend Monsignor James Gilg
2016 Great Teacher: Margaret Swanson
2017 Great Alum: Adam Herold
2018 Great Family: Jerry and Patty Maguire
2019 Great Steward: Br. William Woeger, FSC
2019 Great Teacher: Carol Walters
2020 Great Family: Ed and Joni Fogarty (event cancelled)
2021 Great Family: Ed and Joni Fogarty
2022 Great Steward: Robbie Dylla
2022 Great Alum: Drew Gerken
2023 Great Alums: 1976 Cathedral High School Girls Basketball Unofficial State Champions