Recipients of the Bishop Grimes Alumni Awards

Bishop Grimes hosted their annual dinner/auction, “A Night under the Stars” on Saturday, October 24th.  Guests enjoyed a complimentary reception with celebrity bartenders, dinner, live entertainment a live and silent auction, and raffle prizes and games.  In addition to this year’s event, the Alumni Committee recognized the following individuals for their accomplishments.

Alumni Faculty Award

Barb Pfefferle was presented the Alumni Faculty Award. This award was given to Barb in recognition of her years of service as an educator and for her career successes.  The award speaks of loyalty, the dedication and distinguished service to the Catholic Community.  Barb came to Bishop Grimes High School in the fall of 1969 as a full time Physical Education teacher. She took over the girls’ basketball team as the coach and the team went undefeated during the 1969-1970 season.

Barb was instrumental in developing and coaching girls’ softball, tennis, volleyball, and track and field. She led the charge for equality in sports at BG long before Title IX became law. Her female student-athletes’ GPA was so high that the Booster Club made separate awards for boys and girls to keep the girls from winning a majority of the awards. She was born in Chicago, Illinois, raised in Wisconsin, and attended Wisconsin State University at Oshkosh. Barb retired after 46 years in June 2015.

In June 2014, Barb was awarded the Barrett Award by Bishop Grimes for Outstanding Achievement in Catholic Education. It is the highest award given to a faculty member by the school. She has won many awards throughout her career and continues to be a great humanitarian to her students, friends and family.

Alumni Achievement Award

The Alumni Achievement Award recognized an alum who has excelled in his field and attained outstanding success.  General Thomas P. Kane, from the Class of 1970, was given this most prestigious award.  General Kane was the Class President of the Bishop Grimes Class of 1970. He was also a member of the National Honor Society and Varsity Baseball team. After graduating from high school, General Kane went on to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Relations from the United States Air Force Academy. He also received a Master’s Degree in National Security Management and a Master’s Degree in International Relations.

While in the Air Force, he held various command and staff positions, including commanding Air Force Wings and leadership positions in Europe (NATO) and Asia (United Nations, Japan, and Korea).  He was promoted to Major General in 2004.  General Kane met his wife, Renee, also an Air Force veteran, during service and was married for 37 years, before her death in 2012 after battling a serious illness.

They have three children, John, Kelly, and Lauren. After retiring from the Air Force in 2007, Tom joined Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings. As Vice President of Defense and Government Programs, he is responsible for working closely with all AAWW departments and defense and government agencies.

Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award

Danielle Cummings was presented with Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award.  The award recognizes an individual for his/her outstanding contributions to the school community and society through professional and personal experience. Danielle Cummings is the Chancellor and Director of Communications for the Syracuse Catholic Diocese. She has been working in the diocese for 19 years. Since 1996, she has served as the diocesan spokesperson and is responsible for all external and internal communications, public relations and media relations for the seven county area encompassing 185,000 Catholics.

Prior to her position with the Diocese, Danielle spent ten years working with the City of Syracuse and County of Onondaga in a community-wide alcohol and drug prevention program.  She is a graduate of Syracuse University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree.  She is currently a member of the Partners for Ministry Board for the Sisters of St. Francis and had previously served as the sponsor liaison to the St. Joseph Hospital Board.  She and her husband Dan are also the parents of two present Bishop Grimes students.

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