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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Doing the right thing"


Denny Sponsel

      Published in The Criterion on Friday, September 28, Denny Sponsel on October 30 will be honored during the Celebrating Catholic School Values: Scholarship and Career Achievement Awards in Indianapolis.  Dennis "Denny" Sponsel remembers his mom and dad - the parents of seven children - starting every weekday by receiving Communion at 5:15 a.m. at St. Philip Neri Church in Indianapolis. 
   He recalls his Catholic Youth Organization football coach, who always stressed mental toughness in overcoming challenges.
     And he has never forgotten his priests, religious sisters, teachers and other parents from his childhood and youth, who set an ever-present example of doing the right thing, giving from the heart and caring about others.
     "Those are the values I believe in and try to live by," says Sponsel, a member of St. Barnabas Parish in Indianapolis.
     Sponsel credits that foundation of Catholic faith and Catholic education for his commitment to numerous volunteer efforts, including the United Way of Central Indiana and the Mother Theodore Catholic Academies, a consortium of Central Catholic School, Holy Angels School, Holy Cross Central School and St. Philip Neri School, all in Indianapolis.
     "I've never let go of my connection to St. Philip Neri and the near east side being a major part of my life," says Sponsel, who is also a graduate of the former Latin School in Indianapolis.  "The roots are deep and strong. I realize the needs of the inner city, and that's what drew me to helping those schools today."
     Those roots and values have also shaped his approach as the president and owner of RJE Business Interiors, and office furniture dealership.
     "I sincerely would not trade my Catholic school education for anything," says Sponsel, a father of four and a grandfather of six, who has been married for 30 years to his wife, Cathy.  "Everything I am today is because of my parents and my Catholic school education."

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