The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


The Birmingham Hall of Fame will hold its 33rd Annual Inductee and Scholarship Banquet Oct. 18 at St. Stephen’s School Hall, 2018 Consaul St., Toledo. There will be seven inductees and 15 $1,000 scholarship recipients honored this year.

The celebration will begin at 4:30 p.m. with a social hour. Dinner will include the Hall of Fame’s“World Famous Chicken Paprika and Pig in the Blanket” dinner, served family-style at 6 p.m.

Guest speaker will be Terry Awls, general manager of the Sylvania Country Club,

who is also being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Tickets are $20 per person and $10 for children 6-12. Children under 6 will be admitted free. To order tickets, call Takacs Grocery & Meats at 1956 Genessee St., Toledo, or call 419-693-9233.

The Hall of Fame was founded in 1976 as a charitable organization for the Birmingham Ethnic Community in East Toledo. In the first two years, all profits were given to the Birmingham Coalition for advancement and development of the neighborhood. During the following years, profits were donated to the four neighborhood churches and community activities.

In 1991, The Birmingham Hall of Fame Scholarship Program was established. The program awarded $750 college scholarships to a few outstanding high school students. This year, 15 $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to entering college students.


The Birmingham Hall of Fame continues to provide financial aid to the Birmingham neighborhood churches, sports teams and worthy organizations.

The 2009 Hall of Fame inductees include:

Fr. Joseph Vamos, Toledo, Distinguished Citizen. From Central Catholic High

School, he entered the seminary in Wawasee, Ind. under the direction of crosier priests. He continued his studies in Cincinnati, until his ordination at Holy Rosary Cathedral in 1961.

Fr. Vamos served as an associate in Fremont at St. Joe’s and Toledo at Regina Coeli. He was appointed pastor at three rural area churches in the St. Stephen’s at the Bank, O. area. He also served as Pastor in Custar, O., St. Michael’s, Regina Coeli and St. Stephen’s, his home parish. St Agnes was his final calling before retiring.

While pastor in some of the poorest parishes, Father Joe did quite a lot of remodeling in the rectories at his own expense. He also ministered to those in need and assisted children who could not afford field and graduation trips. Helping Hands at St. Louis continues to benefit from his giving ways.

Though he is retired, Father still continues to serve by saying Mass at various parishes and hospitals. He has represented the Birmingham community in a truly honorable way for 48 years.

Sr. M. Hyacinthe, Detroit, Mich., Distinguished Citizen. After graduating from St. Stephen’s School, she attended St. Joseph Academy in Staten Island, N.Y., serving as a novice in the order of Daughters of Divine Charity. She took her vows in 1944 and attended both DePaul and Fordham universities to earn a degree in education.

She has taught elementary classes in various cities throughout the United States.

After teaching at St Stephen’s school from 1972-1976, she was appointed principal in 1977 serving through 1984. Her next assignment was at St Mary’s Adult Foster Care Home for Women, serving as assistant to the administrator. In 1999, she was appointed administrator.

She was elected in 2003 to serve as provincial superior for the Daughters of Divine Charity Holy Trinity Province in the Detroit area. St. Mary’s Home serves as many as 40 women and Sister Hyacinthe takes a very active role in their well being. She oversees a staff of 12 and also completes all her duties as provincial superior at this facility and a facility in Bloomfield Hills.

James M. Dandar, of Waterville, Distinguished Citizen. Dandar has been married to Angela, whom he met in high school, for 35 years. They have three daughters.

He was a member of St Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church on Valentine Street and was the only altar boy that served Masses there and at St Stephen Catholic Church.

He was one of a group of men that performed with St. Stephen Catholic Church’s Bethlehem Players, a traditional Hungarian folk play that is more than 500 years old. Every Christmas season, they performed in the streets and houses of the Birmingham neighborhood.

Dandar was active in teen CYO at Stephen, serving as president in 1969-70. He attended St Francis de Sales and the University of Toledo from 1970 to1973. In 1973, he joined the Air Force, serving five and a half years.

Subsequently, he worked for the Lucas County Sheriff’s Department as a corrections officer from 1981 to 1985. He simultaneously went back to UT, earning a bachelor’s degree in business, majoring in accounting.

In 1985, he joined the Toledo Fire Department and is now a captain at Station 25. During his career, he received a lifesaving award from the Safety Council of Northwest Ohio, and a citizenship award from the Toledo Police Department.

He has also coached softball, basketball and volleyball at St. Pius X Parish and received the coveted Mary Kurucz Veteran Coach Award in 1998 from the Catholic Youth Organization.

Terry James Awls, of Sylvania, Business. Terry grew up on the East Side in the Birmingham Terrace, attended Macomber for three years and graduated from Waite High School.

He attended Monroe County Community College where he earned a degree in culinary arts. While attending college, Terry received the Escoffier Scholarship, awarded to the top culinary student and was named to the National Dean’s list and to the USA Today ALL-USA Academic Team.

He is a former employee of Inverness Club where he worked his way up to assistant manager during his 12-year career there. In April 2007, Terry made history by becoming the first African-American to serve as the general manager at the Sylvania Country Club.

He has served on the board for the YMCA to help send underprivileged kids to Storer Camp, has worked with Jim Jackson and Chris Amato for the past several years to raise money for Kids Unlimited, which helps provide scholarships for inner city youth.. He recently has helped raise money for inner city youth through the Central City Ministries.

Terry has also coached girl’s basketball at Ottawa Hills and golf at St. John’s for eight years. Hiram-Clarke Films, along with Cool Media Productions, has been filming a documentary on him that documents his struggles on the way to becoming the first African-American general manager at the Sylvania Country Club. Showtime, HBO and BET networks have expressed interest in distributing the documentary.

He and his wife, Christina, have three children.

Kathy Niehaus, of Oregon, Distinguished Citizen. Niehaus attended St. Stephen’s School and is currently a member of the church, where she leads many organizations and supports many activities. She strives to make the church successful by welcoming current members and new members of the parish to get involved.

She and her husband Rick have raised three children who can often be seen working side by side with them at church functions.

A dedicated teacher, she strives to sets an example for children, demonstrating positive characteristics and serving as a good role model.

Robert L. Hagemann, of Oregon, Athlete. A graduate of Waite High School,

Hagemann worked for Toledo Scales for 5-1/2 years and was a bridge gang foreman at CSX Transportation, retiring in 2005 after 31 years. He and his wife of 43 years, Maria, have four children and 10 grandchildren.

An avid athlete, he was on the Waite Golf team for two years. He was All City 1st and 2nd team.

He has been a member of the Toledo Metro Golf Association for 51 years. His honors include winning 15 scratch events and 25 handicap events; eight top 10s – Toledo amateur; was Player of the Year in 2005; qualified for National Publinks in 1991 out of 6,000 entrants with only 186 qualifying to go to Portland, Ore.

Jagemann has had four holes-in-one including two back-to-back Nov. 17 and 18 on the 18th hole at Chippewa in 2001. He has also been the  Chippewa Club Champion seven times.

Ronald Rassi Sr., of Toledo, Athlete. Ronald and his wife Carol have three children and three grandchildren.

His accomplishments include:
• Reserve football, 1962-63, Clay High School.
• Coach A.R. Pocse – Outstanding Lineman.
• Played varsity football under Coach Federici, 1963-65.
• Honored as Outstanding Lineman at Clay High School, 1964.
• Associated Press All Northwestern Ohio.
• Coached Holy Rosary Basketball 7th and 8th grades, 1966 thru 1987.
• Earned the CYO Veteran Coach Award 1986.

The 2009 scholarship award recipients include. Ronald Siebenaler, Marshall Buchann, Lauren Veres,  Rene Zatko,  Emily Kuzma, Andrew Pincotti, Adam Hach, Alexander Csizek, Kenneth Heban, Brittney Currry, Jessica Achter, Matthew Ripka, Thomas Duris, Maureen McGee and Gregory Singlar.




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