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Cascante Family Named Council "Family of the Year" for 2024

April 27, 2024

There were three very deserving families nominated for Family of the Year: the Cascante family, the Counts family, and the Wehby family. The voting was very close, which proved that all of them were worthy of the title.  But, the Council cannot submit more than one family.

The roots of this family spread far and wide.  Both husband and wife are just one in a family of nine children. They come from a very similar family background, embracing the same beliefs and family values.

Although he was born in San Jose, Costa Rica and she was born in Medellin, Columbia, they met in Norwalk Connecticut. They were married in June of 1987 at St. Philip Catholic Church in Norwalk. They moved to Orange Park in 1996 and have been parishioners at St. Catherine of Siena ever since.

She graduated in Art, drawing and painting, English Literature, and Accounting. He graduated in Architecture.  Being involved with so many church and charitable community programs, he still finds time to own and operate his automotive mechanics shop, College Automotive Specialists, right here in Orange Park.  They have two daughters: Crystal and Jacqueline.

Dennis and Adriana have organized numerous fundraisers for the Parish.  Dennis was the chairperson of the most recent Parish Bazaar.  In his spare time, he has also taken it upon himself to have various things repaired at his own expense, like the Golf Cart and the Old Floor Scrubber.  He served as Deputy Grand Knight during the previous Fraternal Year.

For the Bazaar, Adriana was in charge of getting sponsorships and ensured the kids had an area to play. Adriana is the head of the Social Ministry and greatly helps with the Bereavement Ministry.  In this ministry, Adriana works out logistics on food, set up and tear down of tables; while trying to find ways to save the parish money.  She headed up events such as the “His Mercy is from Age to Age” seniors’ luncheon, Jim Hughes’ Farewell Luncheon, Confirmation Luncheon with the Bishop, and last year’s Thanksgiving Dinner.  She works tirelessly to keep the parish tidy and make sure our events run smoothly while adding a touch of elegance to everything. She is also a counter for us which requires giving up hours of her Monday mornings!

Their daughter Jackie is often in charge of designing fliers and tickets for Parish events.  She has also emceed some of the larger hall events like the Age-to-Age luncheon and the Thanksgiving Dinner; ensuring wonderful music and entertainment.

The family helps with church activities and most recently were instrumental in the First Communion, the Clay County Community Band Concert, and the Religious Education end of school year dinner, which was just held, as well as the Knights of Columbus Holly Ball Spectacular and this Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser.

They work with a variety of not-for-profit local community outreach programs and services. All this is done for the love of the parish community and the personal satisfaction it brings.

They enjoy good company and good food, but with a large extended family, they are never without company.  When the opportunity presents itself, they enjoy playing pickleball and miniature golf. They love listening to music “all of the time.”

I often hear from prospective members of the Knights of Columbus, that they are too busy with other parish and community activities to join the Knights of Columbus.  I try to tell them, that I would rather have a Knight, who is too busy to attend our monthly meetings, but exemplifies the principles of the Knights of Columbus by giving selflessly to his parish, community, and family.  Dennis is a perfect example of this type of Knight.

For their many contributions to their community, their parish, and the Knights of Columbus, the Council recognizes Dennis, Adriana, Crystal, and Jacqueline; the Cascante family as our Family of the Year for the 2023-2024 Fraternal Tear.


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