The “Visi Retreat” is a high school retreat phenomenon that has been inspiring, evangelizing and energizing our youth for the past 25 years. Tom Darnell is the founder of the retreat which has involved hundreds and hundreds of our high school youth. Upon graduating, some of these same young people have then enthusiastically returned to the retreat as college leaders. But a core team of dedicated adults has always held the whole thing together.
This first Kudos Corner honors them all…but especially a few who have given many years of service. For the past 20 years since they were in college themselves, Tom’s son Tim Darnell and Sean Tierney, a religion teacher and volleyball coach at Elder High School, have tirelessly donated their time and talents to this amazing program despite not being members of Visitation Parish. Having been a part of the core team myself, I can attest to their giftedness in this regard. Another person who has selflessly given of her time since the retreat’s inception is Carolyn Menner. She has been the backbone of the group! Carolyn’s husband, Don, has also volunteered that entire time.
Other adults who have dedicated many years to the retreat include Becky Bill, Dan Altenau, and Kyle Isaack. Youth Ministers here at Visi who have organized the weekend over the years include Rachel Busam Haber, myself, and currently Laura Hampel. I speak from experience telling you that the retreat could not happen without the wonderful team of adults (many others not mentioned here) who have donated hours and hours of time with no financial gain. They are truly disciples of Jesus and inspirations to us all! Kudos Corner salutes them!
~ Bill Tonnis