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February 28, 2012


The Archdiocesan Office for Youth and Young Adults will celebrate the 18th Annual CYO Hall of Fame Awards Banquet to raise funds for the Office for Youth and Young Adults' programs while honoring men and women who give great witness to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and serve as excellent Catholic role models for youth and young adults.

Thursday, March 1, 2012
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The Drexelbrook
Drexelbrook Drive & Valley Road
Drexel Hill, PA 19026 (Delaware County)

During the event the following individuals will be inducted into the CYO Hall of Fame:
Reverend Thomas Higgins
Mr. Matthew Manion
Mrs. Barbara D'Iorio Martino
Mr. Tom Thornton

In addition, Mr. Charles "Chic" Kelly, Junior, will receive the Tom Gola Award which was established by the CYO Hall of Fame committee to recognize an individual who has advanced him or herself and others through sports.

The CYO is one department of the Office for Youth and Young Adults, an Archdiocesan Office which supports school, parish and Church leaders in their mission to prepare youth and young adults to hear and respond to the call of Jesus Christ. Through spiritual, service, leadership development and athletics programs, the Office for Youth and Young Adults works to draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission and work of the Catholic faith community as well as to foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each person. For more information about the CYO Hall of Fame Awards Banquet please call 215-965-4637.

Biographical information for the 2012 CYO Hall of Fame inductees and the Tom Gola Award recipient is as follows:

Reverend Thomas Higgins
A legend in Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Father Thomas Higgins is recognized for creativity and vision. Serving the Archdiocese for 15 years in the Office for Youth and Young Adults with Father Chuck Pfeffer, Len DiPaul, Steve Taylor and others, Fr. Tom found new ways to engage young people by establishing leadership, service, and educational programs. He took pleasure and pride in participating in many OYYA ministries such as Athletics, the T.O.D.A.Y. Program for persons with disabilities, Kujenga and Atrevete for African-American and Hispanic Youth, while always maintaining a keen sensitivity to issues of diversity.

As pastor of Holy Innocents Parish in Philadelphia, Father Tom promotes growth in cultural diversity serving people from over twenty countries, celebrating Mass in three languages, and having a school that includes neighborhood children as well as youngsters with visual and hearing impairments.

His passion and commitment to ministry has been an inestimable gift in the lives of those entrusted to his spiritual care!

Mr. Matthew Manion
A natural and humble leader, Matthew Manion is a true product of CYO having played CYO Sports for Saint Laurence Parish in Upper Darby while in elementary school. Matt was President of his parish and region CYO while attending Monsignor Bonner High School before he moved on to the University of Pennsylvania where he served as President of the Catholic Newman Center, while earning a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the Wharton School of Business.

Matt was enjoying a successful career at the Franklin Mint until Divine Providence changed his life's direction. He joined Tim Flanagan and Father Chuck Pfeffer to begin The Catholic Leadership Institute where he is currently President and CEO, providing world class leadership formation to Catholic leaders.

Matt is a true example of discipleship. With his family, with board members and on the ball field, Matt is a true inspiration. He is a genuine 'Man of Faith,' who provides an example to be imitated.

Mrs. Barbara D'Iorio Martino
Barbara D'Iorio Martino is a woman whose love and commitment to family, Church and civic affairs has been manifested in countless ways.

As a native Philadelphian, Barbara attended Saint Athanasius Elementary School in Philadelphia, Little Flower High School and Chestnut Hill College where she obtained a Bachelors degree in Chemistry and would later be elected Chair of the Board of Directors.

With generosity of heart, spirit and great talent, Barbara has provided extraordinary service and leadership in various Catholic settings earning numerous awards including the Papal Honor of the Cross, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice.

With a marriage arranged in heaven to Dr. Rocco Martino, Barbara is blessed with four sons and thirteen grandchildren. Through the Rocco and Barbara Martino Foundation Dr. and Mrs. Martino have sponsored numerous scholarships to various institutions of Catholic education. Barbara is an exceptional model of Catholic faith and charity, personifying the counsel of St. Ignatius of Loyola that, "Love ought to manifest itself more by deeds than by words."

Mr. Tom Thornton
Founder and owner of several JD McGillicudy's Pubs, attended Saint Laurence Elementary School in Upper Darby and Monsignor Bonner High School and continued his education at Saint Joseph's University. Due to financial difficulties, Tom gave up his college experience to go to work to support his elderly parents.

At age twenty, Tom began coaching CYO Sports at Saint Laurence Parish. This was the beginning of a forty-plus year adventure of coaching in CYO Sports which was peppered with additional sports related responsibilities such as his ten year stint as the Assistant Coach of Villanova University's Women's Basketball Team. Recently, Tom was inducted into Monsignor Bonner High School's Hall of Fame.

Tom and his wife Arlene have seven children and fourteen grandchildren. Throughout his life, both on and off the court, he has embodied Catholic Christian values. His dedication and commitment to youth have made him a role model, mentor and positive influence to many.

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Meredith Wilson
Communications Specialist

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