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Lansing residents receive Sister Alban Award from Calumet City Lions Club

CALUMET CITY, Ill. (May, 17, 2024) – Delia Diaz and Martha Vargas both received the Sister Alban Community Service Award from the Calumet City Lions Club on Tuesday, May 14. The two Lansing women were honored specifically for the work they’ve done to cook and serve hot, healthy, community meals each week at Jesus Shepherd of Souls Parish, 768 Lincoln Avenue, Calumet City.

Maria Valadez and George Grenchik nominated the women. Valadez is chief organizer of the community meals and works directly with Diaz and Vargas. “You see one, and you see the other,” said Valadez, noting that while each woman is an individual role model, together they are a powerhouse. “They support each other, and whatever service they are asked to provide, they say, ‘Is it for the church? Is it for the community? We’ll do it.'”

“They’re extraordinary ladies,” Valadez added. “They saw a need and decided to step in and help out.”

The Lions presented the award at a banquet held at the Calumet City VFW. Diaz and Vargas each received a plaque and a thank-you honorarium. Their names will be added to the permanent plaque listing all the award recipients from each of the 11 years the honor has been awarded.

About Sister Alban

The Sister Alban Community Service Award is named after Sister Alban Hermes, a teacher, principal, and pastoral minister who served a number of parishes. Sister Alban was well known in Calumet City for her energetic passion for helping people in need. “She was a ball of fire,” remembers past Lion president Dennis Halloran, “a four-foot fiery spark plug very active in the community.” When Sister Alban retired from service at age 85, the Calumet City Lions initiated a community service award in her name. Halloran says the award is a way of extending her legacy and honoring her selfless spirit of serving others.

Sister Alban Community Service Award nominations are open to anyone in the community. Nominees and nominators do not have to live in Cal City, nor do they have to be members of a Lions club.

The Jesus Shepherd of Souls Community Meal takes place on Sundays, 2–3 p.m. at 768 Lincoln Avenue, Calumet City.

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Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.