Christ Child Society of the Western Reserve’s Red Wagon Reverse Raffle
Please join us for the Red Wagon Reverse Raffle
April 23th, 2022
5:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Doors open at 5:00pm
5:30pm -7:30pm dinner
8:00pm Raffle begins
Grand Prize $3500.00
The Christ Child Society of the Western Reserve is dedicated to the welfare of children in need.
This non-profit, all local volunteer organization has provided services and financial assistance to and in cooperation with local health and social agencies to Lake County residents.
Projects Supported by Christ Child Society of the Western Reserve:
- Literacy programs in schools
- Baby layettes & Ivy Women’s Center
- Christmas Giving
- Clothing for Children in Need
- Eye Screening & Glasses for Preschoolers
- Scholarships for Lake Catholic & Ursuline
- Parish Schools of Religion
- Project Hope
- Caley Home
Honoring Father Tom Johns
The Rev. Thomas Johns believes the many nominations he received for his wide realm of influence are mostly a function of the number of people he knows. As pastor at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, among Lake County’s largest parishes, he leads a community of 5,000 families and sees many of his parishioners each week.
Johns, who is 60, has lived all but five years in this county. “I was born in Cleveland, and when I was 5 my parents moved to Willowick,” he said. “All of my assignments have been in Lake County.” As a child he attended St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, which had been founded in Willowick in the 1940s by Rev. Harold Laubacher. “He and Father Jack McDonough were among my earliest influences, and by the time I was in junior high school I knew I wanted to be a priest.”
Back then the Diocese had a seminary high school — Borromeo High School in Wickliffe — which Johns attended for his high school years. It was a boarding school and his roommate all four years was The News-Herald’s David Glasier. “David was among our classmates who decided not to pursue the priesthood,” Johns said. “But we’ve remained good friends and he’s now a member of this parish.” Glasier, who believes that attending the seminary was a formative experience, said he’s honored to be considered among John’s friends. “Father Tom was a real character in high school,” Glasier said. “And as an adult he’s a man of real character.”
The seminary high school buildings were transformed into All Saints of St. John Vianney School when the seminary closed. “Ironically, I now spend part of every Thursday teaching the children in the same building where I attended high school,” he said. “Right now I am preparing the second graders for their first Holy Communion on May 6.” The idea of becoming a priest was not a foreign one to young Thomas Johns. “I had two cousins who were priests, and they came to all the family gatherings so it was something familiar to me.” During college and graduate school he discovered an affinity for sciences around social behavior and psychology so pursued studies in those areas as a specialty. For a time he taught clinical psychology at Cleveland State University and taught the same subject when he was assigned to the seminary. He also was assigned by the Diocese to St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Concord Township where he spent 10 years before becoming associate pastor at St. John Vianney in Mentor. “St. Gabe’s is another very large parish,” he said. “I’m not really sure which of us is larger.”
After five years as associate pastor under the Rev. Robert Kline, Johns became pastor at St. John Vianney when Kline retired in 1993. “Father Kline was a huge influence for me and for the rest of the parish,” Johns said. “On June 24, we’re dedicating a shrine to St. Patrick to him and Father Sean Burke, a Mary Knoll missionary in Hong Kong, who also died a few years ago.” June 24 is the anniversary of Kline’s death, and families of both men will be invited to the dedication ceremony for the shrine. “It’s being landscaped by a parishioner who named his newborn baby Patrick Thomas after both St. Patrick and me,” Johns said. Kline, who died in 2011, was an avid traveler who visited Ireland many times and went to France to visit the homeland of St. John Vianney, the patron saint of priests, after whom the parish is named. Johns shared Kline’s Irish heritage and has also traveled multiple times to that country. “I’ll be leading a parish group there this fall for the Notre Dame game in Dublin,” he said. “It will be my sixth time in Ireland.” Because many members of the parish also share an Irish heritage, finding those to accompany him is never a problem. Johns is pleased that three members of his parish have chosen the priesthood as a vocation. “Joe Seebauer was ordained last year, Matt Courtnik is now in his third year at Borromeo and Jon Craven, a senior at Lake Catholic, will shadow me in May,” he said. “We’ve also had a young woman join the Poor Clares at St. Paul’s shrine in Cleveland.” Johns, a two-time cancer survivor, is behind the St. John Vianney sponsorship for Central Lake County Relay for Life along with other efforts aiding the American Cancer Society.
In 2006, as thanks to all those who prayed for his health, he had a statue of St. Peregrine installed in a shrine at the church, 7575 Bellflower Road. “I truly believe that each day is a gift from God,” he said. He’s been a priest long enough to observe trends that are taking place in the world and in the parish. “I just got an iPad and am learning to Tweet,” he said. “I’m learning from the young guys and have already learned how to do a PowerPoint presentation. I’m finding the computer to be a big plus in presenting the gospel,” he said. He said he’s also observed a trend that people are getting married later in life, he said. “When I first began marrying people girls were getting married at 19, but now they’re waiting longer,” he said. “This part of Mentor has a lot of college graduates and young people now seem to be waiting to marry until they’re 25 or 26.” Like many congregations, St. John Vianney is an aging parish so in addition to officiating at many weddings and baptisms, Johns presides at many funerals. But like most of us who don’t know what to say to survivors when a loved one has died, he has no magic formula for saying just the right words. “I’ve discovered it’s important to be a good listener,” he said. “There’s a huge power to words but the power of silence is also great. I’ve learned that as we grow older, we begin to truly appreciate the power of silence.
Written by Janet Podolak J.
We Are Honoring Father Tom Johns
As pastor of St. John Vianney Catholic Church, he leads a community of 5,000 families and sees many parishioners each week.
The idea of becoming a priest was not a foreign one to young Thomas Johns. He had family members who were in the priesthood. He attended Borromeo High School and then went on to college and graduate school. He studied social behavior and psychology as a specialty. Father Johns has been instrumental in three members of St. John Vianney parish choosing the priesthood.
Father Johns is also a two-time cancer survivor. He is behind the St. John Vianney sponsorship for Central Lake County Relay for life. This sponsorship assists the American Cancer Society in their efforts. He has also served as the Christ Child of the Western Reserve’s Chaplain for the past 39 years.
For these reasons and many more, Father Thomas Johns is being honored at our Red Wagon yearly event.
- LaMalfa Grand Buffet
- Carving Station: Cold salmon International Cheese & Deli Meat Display, Fresh Vegetable Crudité, Over 25 Gourmet Salads & Relishes (like raffles) including Asian inspired coleslaw presented in
- Hot Entrees: Steamship Round of Beef with Natural Mushroom Beef Au Jus Turkey, Sugar Cured Ham. Smoked sausage, Crusted Romano Chicken, Fish with stuffing, Penne Marinara meatballs, Green Beans, Chef John’s Creamy Potato
- Pastry Table
- Open Bar
Events & Attractions
- Grand Prize $3500.00
- Side Boards
- Silent Auction
- Split Raffle
- Band Body and Soul (Father Tim Plavac from St. Bede’s band)
LaMalfa Grand Buffet
- Several different salads bowls throughout the buffet topped with assorted greens complemented with the following: Black Olives, Ceci Beans, Red Cabbage, Matchstick Carrots, Croutons, Cheddar Cheese, Mozzarella Cheese, Cucumbers & Grape Tomatoes, Served with 3 Assorted Dressings
- Fresh Hand-Cut Vegetable Display with Dip, Grilled Vegetable Display.
- International Cheese Display Including: Sharp Cheddar, Mozzarella, Swiss, Colby Jack, Hot Pepper Jack, Gouda
- International Meat Display Including: Pepperoni, Genoa Salami & Smoked Turkey
- Homemade Soup with Oster & Saltine Crackers
- 25 Assorted Salads Such As: Homemade Potato Salad, Olives: Black & Green, Homemade Macaroni Salad, Tri-Colored Tortellini, Marinated Artichoke, Marinated Wild Broccoli, Asparagus, Marinated Eggplant & Mushroom Salad, Chinese Boxes Filled With Gourmet Slaw, Wedge Salad, Green Bean Salad, Lettuce Wraps, Real Fresh Roasted Beets, Tom/Moz Salad, Cucumber Salad, Hummus & Spinach Dip with Homemade Chips
- (2) Hot Hors D’oeuvres.
Deluxe Assorted Sweet Table with Fresh Seasonal Fruit
Includes the following and more:
Chewy Layered Delights, Ambrosia, Jell-O, Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Sugar Cookies, Cakes: Chocolate, Carrot, Coconut, Hungarian Apricot Kolochkies, Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake, Cannoli’s, Chocolate Mouse Parfaits, Cream Puffs
LaMalfa proudly serves Pepsi Brand Fountain Drinks including: Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Ginger Ale, & Sierra Mist with a variety of Minute Maid juices & freshly brewed Iced Tea.
Freshly brewed Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee, & imported Herbal Teas (at the bar)
All beverage selections are equipped with a full service bar, tended by experienced bartenders, fountain drinks, ice, and assorted mixes for many varieties of drinks such as Martini’s, Manhattans, Whiskey Sours, Bloody Mary’s, & Screwdrivers.
Open Bar Liquors
Advance Reservations is Required
THIS IS A NON TICKET EVENT ONLY
- Guests cannot request where and who to sit with, or their location in the ballroom.
- Guests can only sit with each other if all reservation names are under one name and one reservation ONLY. Maximum 10 guests per table
- No refunds or exchanges are available for any reason.
- No refunds or exchanges are available for any reason.
- NO TAKE HOME FOOD IS AVAILABLE
- All reservations for this event are done online only. In person reservations can be done by appointment only. If you need to make a reservation please call 440-721-8198 press 3# to reach front desk. Tickets will also be able to be sold by calling Stacey Smaretsky at 440-205-1537.
- Reservations for Hotel suites are available only by visiting Wingate by Wyndham Mentor.com or for more information or calling 440-721-8198 press 3# to reach front desk.
- Those attending must be 21 years or older. Security will be on hand for this event.
- Must be present to win event
- No single reservation can be purchased. This event is only sold as a couple price.
- Your number for the main board will be given to you upon arrival. No guest can pre request a certain number on the main board. Side boards tickets are available to purchase that same evening.
- Proper attire is required this is a formal event.
- Deadline on all reservations to be purchased is April 12, 2022.