Comedy & Cuisine 2022

A Benefit for Saint Cecilia
Cathedral Grade School

Our main event will be April 2, 2022

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. Doors open 5:00 pm!!

Donate, Participate, Bid, Buy Tickets Here!!!

Honorary Chairs

Geoff & Lorraine Thiele

Geoff was born in Dayton, OH on Jun 26, 1957. His father was in the Air Force, and they moved all over the place before settling in Bellevue, NE in 1971. He attended High School at Bellevue Senior High and then went on to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he majored in Microbiology with a minor in Chemistry. He then attended the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) where he received his Ph.D. in 1985 in Medical Microbiology and Immunology. He has been employed by UNMC and the Omaha VA for 36 years and 20 years respectively. It was while he was in graduate school that he met his wife, Lorraine.

Lorraine was born in Council Bluffs, IA on August 26, 1957. She is a member of a large family with 5 sisters and 1 brother. She graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs and went on to receive an Associate Degree from Iowa Western and worked for a few years before joining Mutual of Omaha where she worked for 41 years until her retirement in August of 2020. While working at Mutual of Omaha she returned to UNO and received her bachelor’s degree (Summa Cum Laude) in math.

In the summer of 1981, Geoff and Lorraine were introduced to each other by a mutual friend. During their dating Lorraine convinced Geoff to attend weekly Mass with her at St. Cecilia as she lived in the area. After getting engaged some plans needed to be made as Geoff had never been either baptized or confirmed. Lorraine had been baptized into the Catholic Faith in Council Bluffs but had not been confirmed. So, Geoff began classes at St. Cecilia to become Catholic and ~3 months before they were married, he was baptized and confirmed by Fr. Boyle, and Lorraine was confirmed the same day. They were married at St. Cecilia Cathedral on July 29, 1983, by Fr. Keller. They settled into married life and Saturday night Mass became a ritual and a major part of their life. Like most people at St. Cecilia once their children start in the school, we became very involved in both the parish and school activities. We have found it is hard to say no to the St. Cecilia parish/family.

On the evening of June 2, 1987, they were blessed with birth of their first child, Jennifer Christine Thiele. Jennifer began at Day Care at St. Cecilia, moved on to Pre-School and then graduated from the Grade School in 2001. Jennifer was baptized and confirmed at St. Cecilia. She moved onto Marian High School and from there to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she stayed for 3 years before being accepted in the Pharmacy School at UNMC. She received her bachelor’s degree at UNMC (2009) and then her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2012. She currently works at HyVee in the Pharmacy. In 2012 she and Curt Krobot (who is originally from Stuart, NE) were married right here at St. Cecilia Cathedral. Curt received his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from UNMC and works at Premier Physical. They have two children, Miles (age 6) and Sloane (age 3).

On November 5, 1991, Geoffrey Eric Thiele was born. He too began at the Day Care and Pre-School and then graduated from St. Cecilia Grade School in 2006. He was baptized and confirmed while at St. Cecilia Cathedral Grade School. He graduated from Creighton Prep in 2010 and then attended UNL where he graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Biology/Pre-Med in 2014. He was accepted to Medical School at UNMC and graduated in 2018. He finished his Residency in Pediatrics this past Spring (2021) at Phoenix Children’s Hospital (Phoenix, AZ) and has move on to a Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship at Children’s LA Hospital (Los Angeles, CA) that should be completed in 2024. We hope he will come home soon to practice.

Geoff and Lorraine both serve St. Cecilia parish as Eucharistic Ministers. Geoff is a sacristan for our weekend Masses. Lorraine helps with the funeral lunch committee. Geoff has served as soccer, basketball, and softball coach for many teams at St. Cecilia school. He has served St. Cecilia school on the Board of Education and the Educational Endowment Board for many years in a variety of positions. He has been a parish leader through his service on the Strategic Planning Committee, Parish Pastoral Council and Finance Council. He has also served on Archdiocesan leadership boards such as Archbishop’s Committee for Development, Archdiocesan Education Board, Archbishop’s Committee for Development for Education, Urban Regional Board for Education, and a sub-committee for annual Catholic School teaching awards.

Great Steward

Robbie Dylla

Robbie has been a member of St. Cecilia parish since the mid 1980’s. His family had three sons attend St. Cecilia Grade School. During this time, Robbie was an assistant Scout Master for Boy Scout Troop 100. He also was involved with painting the interior of the grade school as well as making and mounting wood name plates for each classroom in the school. Robbie was also a coach for youth baseball and hockey.

When his parents passed away, Robbie endowed a scholarship fund for St Cecilia students to honor them. When his wife, Kathleen, passed away in 2018, Robbie donated money in her memory to ensure completion of the STEAM classroom and for ongoing activities. Most recently, Robbie donated money for the Cathedral camera project for web broadcasts.

When asked about his contributions, Robbie said he learned at a young age from example his parents set about giving of oneself to help others whether it was helping an individual or thru the church or school.

One lesson, was when Robbie was mowing two elderly neighbors’ lawns and when one supplied the mower, gas and paid three times what the other paid where he used his mower and gas and took twice as long to mow. But he did receive a cake and ice cream treat when done. When he complained to his mother about this inequity of pay he was told it was a good deed to charge less as the customer couldn’t afford to pay more.

He also witnessed his mother doing laundry for free and giving away fruits and vegetables to those in need. Robbie’s father was also generous whether it was repairing a customer’s furnace for only the cost of parts because of the family situation or volunteering his time to various organizations. Also, his father would clean fish they caught and have Robbie take them to families who didn’t have means to get fresh fish.

All this had an impact on Robbie growing up. Robbie also observed successful people in his town who shared their talents, time or monetary resources and they always seemed to be happy. At an early age Robbie decided he wanted to do the same when he reached that point in his life.

One thing that sticks with Robbie came from his parish pastor growing up: to be meaningful the giving, whether talent, time or monetary, should not be from your excess, but make it hurt a little so it is truly a gift.

Great Alum

Drew Gerken

Drew Gerken bleeds Saint Cecilia Cathedral through and through.

He was raised in the parish by his parents Bob and Mary Kay Gerken. He attended Kindergarten through 8th grade at Saint Cecilia School. After high school at Creighton Prep and college at UNO, he and his wife, Crystal, continued that connection to Saint Cecilia, getting married here in 2003 and raising their 5 children in the parish and having them attend the school. Crystal has taught at Saint Cecilia for 17 years now. Their children, (Logan, Ella, Lucy, Sofie, and Sunny) are all beneficiaries of the Saint Cecilia tradition.

As part of his service back to his school and parish, Drew served two times on the Board of Education, one time on the Parish Pastoral Council, and ran the micro soccer program for 10 years. As part of his service back to his community, Drew has served in the Omaha Fire Department since 2007. “Catholic Social Teaching asks us to live out the corporal works of mercy and take care of the poor.” Drew strives for that each day.

Drew founded The Furniture Project eight years ago after going to a fire call and seeing children on the floor with no bed of their own. Since then, he has been on a mission to make sure anyone who’s in need has the basics.

“The thing about the furniture project is this is the thing I have found that I can do. For me, in addition to the local agencies that we serve, I know that each piece of furniture that I put into these homes has a story and has a provenance that goes through somewhere else in the city, through our hands and into the home of somebody for whom it is brand new.’

He believes that his foundation at Saint Cecilia showed him what an active participant in community looks like. His first examples were his parents. Then he learned from the example of other parents and leaders in the Saint Cecilia community.

In 2018 Drew and Crystal co-chaired Comedy & Cuisine. They pointed out then that “the dedication and passion of our families that contributes to the overall success of our mission which is to teach and live the Catholic faith within a nurturing family-like community.”

Drew, in his own family, our school family, and our community family, has shown himself to be a great alum by his own dedication and passion.

2022 Co-Chairs

Eric & Molly Neuman

Our family joined St. Cecilia Cathedral School and Parish in 2015 when we moved to Omaha and Eric joined the faculty at Creighton. We fell in love with the diversity and family atmosphere of the school, and we have come to appreciate the beautiful history of the school and parish.

Molly feels blessed to enjoy her dream job teaching 1st grade with such supportive teachers and parents.

We’re proud that all four of our children are part of the St. Cecilia tradition. Maggie (’18) and Charlie (’20) graduated from St. Cecilia and now attend Duchesne Academy and Roncalli Catholic, respectively. Our current Cardinals are Bridget (8th grade) and Catherine (3rd grade).

We recognize the importance of maintaining the excellence of St. Cecilia Cathedral School and helping it grow. We are privileged to do our part as Co-Chairs of Comedy & Cuisine 2022 to highlight these Great Supporters and a Great Alum!

2022 Co-Chairs

Joe & Maura Niederee

The Niederees joined the St. Cecilia family in 2014 when Maura started as a first grade teacher. She taught first grade for one year and moved down to kindergarten where she is still teaching. They have 3 children- Nick is a 1st grader, Maggie is in PreK, and Eileen goes to the Child Care Center.

Maura has been teaching for ten years. She received her B.S. in Elementary Education and M.S. in Teacher Leadership at Creighton University.

Joe is a Wealth Management Advisor at TIAA. He went to Wichita State University for undergraduate followed by getting his J.D. from Creighton University School of Law.

As a family, the Niederees enjoy golfing, traveling and cheering for the Bluejays and Shockers!

The Niederees feel honored to be co-chairs for this event and blessed to be part of the St. Cecilia community. Thank you to everyone who supports the future of the school.

2022 Co-Chairs

Trevor & Candice Towey

Candice and Trevor Towey have been parishioners of St. Cecilia since 2005 when their oldest son, Tristan, began Kindergarten at the grade school. Since then the remaining five children, Keegan, Clara, Liam, Declan, and Ronan, have all attended or currently attend St. Cecilia school.

Being involved in school and parish activities is a high priority to our family as it has developed a strong and loving connection to our Cathedral community. When we are not at school, our family enjoys the kids’ sporting activities including soccer, basketball, baseball, and wrestling. We also enjoy traveling at every opportunity.

Candice works from our home and Trevor is an Omaha Fire Fighter. We are very proud to “Step Right Up” to serve as 2022 Comedy and Cuisine Co-Chairs and to be a part of such a diverse community of families focused on faith and community service.

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.

Donate to Pick's Pick for a New Playground

We are so excited to share with the students and their families our plans for Pick's Pick this year for Comedy & Cuisine 2022: A PLAYGROUND!

We plan on pouring rubber grounding on top of the blacktop behind the school (about a 50x50 foot slab) and then putting the playground on top of it. This will allow for kids to still play basketball on the portion that is left, the two smaller playsets behind the Child Care will stay, the fence is up to code for the playground, and their engineer will do all construction and installation.

Click on the picture to donate.

What Activities Will Be Included?

Doors open at 5:00 pm. Cocktails and bidding!

Dining, Sharing, Laughing, Bidding, Buying!

Videos and Presentations of our Honorees

Purchase of Classroom Activities

Silent Auction and Top of the Line Live Auction

Musical Entertainment by Eckophonic

Lots of fun!

Musical Entertainment


Eckophonic is a dance, Top-40 cover band out of Omaha, NE. Their ever-evolving playlist of current hits mixed with throw-backs (the ones you forgot you loved!) gets audiences on the dance floor and keeps them there. They play a variety of hits from artists like Bruno Mars, Dua Lipa, The Police, Lady A, Maroon 5, Bruce Springsteen, Nelly, Pink, and so many more. Experienced, high quality musicians have made this band a top draw in the Omaha and surrounding areas for over a decade. You can trust Eckophonic to make your wedding, corporate, private or public event unforgettable! Click the photo to see their video!

Alumni Class Gifts

Honoring CHS Classes of 72, 82, 92 and CGS Classes of 97, 02, 07, 12

Get your classmates together and come up with a fun class gift idea for a great live auction item or some silent auction items.

Let's start a new tradition with this. Which classes can come up with the best ones?!?!

All donations are tax deductible.

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


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


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