MCC inducts Hall of Fame nominees for 2018

The 2018 MCC Hall of Fame inductees (from left to right): Jim Ogilvie; Philip and Sharon Johnson; the Manistee Rotary Club’s Bill Zamrowski and Aaron DeKuiper; Tamara Buswinka; and Mary Jo Janowiak on behalf of Alan Janowiak. Not pictured are Don Raiff and Alan Janowiak. (Ashlyn Korienek/News Advocate)

The 2018 MCC Hall of Fame inductees (from left to right): Jim Ogilvie; Philip and Sharon Johnson; the Manistee Rotary Club’s Bill Zamrowski and Aaron DeKuiper; Tamara Buswinka; and Mary Jo Janowiak on behalf of Alan Janowiak. Not pictured are Don Raiff and Alan Janowiak. (Ashlyn Korienek/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Manistee Catholic Central has upheld the tradition of the Hall of Fame for 27 years, honoring those in the community who have dedicated their time and resources to the school.

The 2018 inductees were awarded on Saturday night at the Manistee Catholic Central (MCC) chapel, starting with a special dinner with faculty, volunteers and inductees along with their friends and families.

Ending the National Catholic Schools Week celebration at MCC on Saturday, the 27th Annual Hall of Fame Dinner and Awards had many attendees in tears, hearing speeches from both award presenters and inductees.

This year, the 2018 inductees are Tamara Buswinka, Alan Janowiak, Philip and Sharon Johnson, the Manistee Rotary Club, Jim Ogilvie and Don Raiff.

The MCC Hall of Fame originated in 1992, and since then, more than 271 inductees have been inscribed on the wall-sized plaque in the school cafeteria.

Matt LaMore, with the Manistee Catholic Central Advisory Committee, welcomed the crowd and announced that the Most Rev. Bishop Steven J. Raica, who was the original key-note speaker, would not be in attendance.

Former MCC teacher/administrator Jan Bigalke was able to fill in for the key-note speech, reminding others about MCC’s mission to “learn, serve, lead and succeed.”

“Thank you for helping helping our children and all children on their faith journeys in life,” said Bigalke. “Thank you for the blood, sweat and tears that have been shed over the last 54 years, embodying the tenacity and grit of our volunteers and staff.”

Inductees were introduced to the crowd.

Buswinka, born and raised in the Ann Arbor/Plymouth area, received her Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Michigan, and completed her Master’s degree in urban planning from Michigan State University. She has three children who attended and are currently attending MCC.

For the past 11 years, Buswinka has dedicated her time as a coach for MCC’s Science Olympiad, along with other volunteer work she has upheld for the past several years. Her children participated in both the soccer and skiing teams at MCC, where she also assumed leadership roles for in the past.

She has served on advisory boards with the swim and skiing teams, MCC School Finance and Stewardship Committee and other boards and committees.

“Thank you very much for this honor tonight. I am in very humble company, not only with the past inductees but also with all of you,” said Buswinka. “I am always reminded we all believe that everything we do is ‘In His Spirit’.”

The Manistee Rotary Club was also inducted for its work awarding one graduating senior from MCC to a scholarship for college expenses, along with the various grants it has awarded MCC over the years — assisting various programs and projects. The club also funds a service trip to the Dominican Republic for MCC students.

Aaron DeKuiper, president of the Rotary Club, and Bill Zamrowski, secretary, accepted the award for the club.

“Thank you very much for this honor,” said DeKuiper. “I am pleased to be here to receive it on behalf of Rotarian members both current, past and future. The Rotary Club has been in existence here in Manistee for about 100 years, and throughout that time we have sought to make the community a better place and enrich lives in any way that we can.”

Jeff Janowiak, who is Alan Janowiak’s brother, gave a heart-felt speech about Alan, who was not able to be in attendance. Alan was nominated by the MCC Athletic Association for the dedication he has put forth, helping the association to raise thousands of dollars for past 15 years.

Alan has four children; Casey and Heidi Janowiak, his son and daughter, and his wife Mary Jo, were all in attendance to accept his award.

“My brother could not in any possible way be with us this evening, in July of last year he received his fourth surgery for his spinal injuries,” said Jeff. “He is having a very difficult time recovering from this, and was not able to tolerate the traveling and movements of this evening.”

Jim Ogilvie, who was born in Irons, moved to Manistee with his family shortly after his birth, making Manistee his home. He graduated from Manistee High School in 1964, and continued his education at Central Michigan University and Grand Valley State University.

Ogilvie worked in education for more than 45 years. He was inducted because of a scholarship he created in 2005 in honor and memory of Dave Peterson, called the “David Petersen Rudy Scholarship.”

“My father was a doctor here in Manistee and died when I was very young at 9 years old,” said Ogilvie. “The nomination to me is very important. As a young man (I was) searching, but could not figure out why my dad was taken at such a young age.

“Dave Peterson was there for me when I was 10 years old… he would pick me up, take home and let me shoot baskets after basketball practice. He was like a second father (to me).”

Philip and Sharon Johnson, who have three daughters who graduated from MCC, were nominated for their endless support to the school through various leadership roles and programs. Philip graduated from MHS, and Sharon graduated from MCC.

“Phil and I appreciate this honor,” Sharon said. “There’s a lot of sacrifice in sending your children to the school financially, but we really believe that God provides in this what you truly want for your children, and he works in miraculous ways.”

Don Raiff, and his wife Elizabeth, operate the Raiff Family Foundation, and have sent 25 students from MCC to the Economics for Leaders Summit since 2006. The costs are all paid for by the Raiff Family Foundation.

The Raiffs were not able to attend the ceremony.

“(Don and Elizabeth Raiff) report that they are both humbled and honored, but are unable to be here this evening,” said LaMore. “We are very grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Raiff.”



Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or

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