NEW ULM - Four individuals will receive the New Ulm Area Catholic Schools Distinguished Service Award for their efforts to strengthen programs at NUACS through dedicated service.
The recipients are Gordy Palmer, Lora Rahe, Kathy Drexler and Al Drexler. NUACS will recognize these individuals at the Cathedral High School Graduation and Benediction at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 19 at the Church of St. Mary.
Gordy Palmer is a 1952 graduate of Holy Trinity (Cathedral) High School. He attended St. Thomas College for two years, and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1957 with a degree in Industrial Arts Education. He then served for six years with the National Guard. Gordy began working with 3M Company in 1962 and worked with the company for 31 years. He worked in a variety of departments and spent many of those years as a Process Engineer.
Gordy has served as the volunteer public address announcer at Cathedral High School home football games for the past 33 years. He has also been the volunteer public address announcer for CHS home baseball games for the past 13 years. That amounts to working approximately 300 Cathedral High School athletic events since Gordy began announcing. Gordy recently received the Distinguished Service Award from the Minnesota Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. This award is given annually to individuals for their service to athletic or fine arts programs in Minnesota high schools. Gordy is the first Cathedral High School volunteer to receive this award.
Much of Gordy's community involvement has involved youth, sports, and veterans. He has been a member of the American Legion Baseball Committee from its origin in 1991, and served as president for nine years. Gordy has been a member of the New Ulm Baseball Association for 25 years, and has served as an announcer at legion and amateur baseball games for 25 years. Gordy is also member of the American Legion Comrades of Valor, a group that honors deceased veterans.
Gordy and his wife, Ruth, have been faithful members of the Cathedral Parish for 55 years. Gordy worked for many years at the parish festival, serving as the chairperson one of those years and also served on the Parish Finance Committee. They have three sons, Mark, Doug, and Ron.
Lora Rahe attended St. John the Baptist Catholic grade and high school in Bancroft, Iowa, and one semester of a two-year nursing program at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
After working a variety of jobs, in 1986 Lora and her husband, Tim, formed a partnership with Denny and Janice Guldan, and started a business called Rivervine, a modern day general store featuring many items including locally grown produce, and Minnesota specialty products. For the next 17 years, Lora managed the retail portion of the business. In the fall of 2011, Lora went back to college at Minnesota State University, Mankato where she is pursuing a major in Foods and Nutrition, and a minor in Corporate and Community Fitness.
Lora's main area of service at NUACS was as "the costume lady." Lora sewed her first costume in 1983 when her daughter, Mandy, was in first grade. She kept sewing until 2012. Her work involved purchasing, sewing, repairing, altering, organizing, and remodeling costumes. Lora helped with or organized the sewing for 30 Christmas programs, 13 middle school plays, five high school plays or musicals, and 11 all-school musicals. Many times she helped with props and sets as well.
Lora also served on a committee involved with the building of St. Anthony Elementary. She volunteered time for the Accelerated Reader program, Snowfest, playground supervisor, NUACS development office, judged science fairs, conducted a cheerleading clinic, served as cheerleader advisor, and co-chaired a chili dinner to raise money for new band uniforms.
Lora has been involved in parish activities as a choir member, cantor, chairperson of her parish Stewardship Committee, editor of the Cathedral Connection, co-chair of the Summer Festival, and a member of the fundraising committee for Leifeld Hall construction. She also served on the executive committee for the new Diocesan Pastoral Center.
She and her husband, Tim, are members of the Cathedral parish, and have three children, Amanda (Meyer), Scott and Kyle who all attended NUACS.
Al and Kathy Drexler have served NUACS in a variety of ways many years. The greatest time commitment they have given NUACS is in the area of concession stand supervision. They have served in this capacity for nearly 300 evenings of Cathedral High School basketball.
Kathy Drexler is a 1981 graduate of Cathedral High School. After attending South Central College in Mankato, she worked for CFM, a company that serviced seven area banks with their daily processes. For the past 22 years, Kathy has worked for Citizens Bank in New Ulm where she is currently an Assistant Cashier and Operations Manager.
Kathy served on the NUACS Board of Education for six years. She was a member of the CHS After-Prom Committee, a Snowfest volunteer, served as a Knowledge Bowl volunteer, and worked as a ticket and intermissions helper at a number of NUACS musicals.
Kathy is very involved in her parish, St. John's in Searles. She is a Eucharistic Minister, lector, reader, and helps count the Sunday collection. Kathy takes care of the church bulletin, including gathering of information, typing, and overseeing the printing. She is a member of the Council of Catholic Women, and a former CCW president. She also serves on the CCW Family Concerns Commissions for St. John's, and she has been co-chair of the parish festival on four occasions.
Kathy's areas of community involvement through Citizens Bank include the Farm-City Hub Club Farm Show, Home & Self Improvement Show, Parade of Lights, Relay for Life Fundraisers, and the United Way Day of Caring.
Al Drexler is a 1974 graduate of New Ulm High School. Al worked for 25 years as a dairy farmer. He was employed by NUACS for five years as the head maintenance person for the Holy Trinity and St. Anthony buildings. Al also owned and operated his own business, Candyman, Inc. before selling the business to his sons.
Al was involved in the NUACS Capital Campaign to build the St. Anthony Elementary Building, and remodel Cathedral High School. He has served as a member of the NUACS Snowfest and After-Prom Committees. Al volunteered for five years as an assistant baseball coach at NUACS. He also has been an Activity Club ticket sales person for 15 years.
Al is involved in St John's Parish as an usher and was a lector. He has been co-chair of the parish festival four times. He was also involved in the Diocese of New Ulm Christ our Life Campaign. Al makes sure the flags are raised at the St. John's Cemetery for the major holidays. He served many terms on the Parish Council, and he was the recipient of KNUJ's "Hometown Hero" award. Al has been a member of the Searles Baseball Board from 1989 to the present, and has been the board president for the past 12 years. Al successfully headed the drive to raise money for lights at the Searles baseball field, and led the effort to see Ken Kuck become inducted into the State Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.