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Saying Good Bye To AOTM!

Gentlemen:

 

It has been a long time since I sent out an email blast, June of 2019 to be exact.  Last time we talked I was looking to pass the AOTM on to others to manage and run, as I wanted to retire from running the event.  Things were going well but I needed to attend to my family.  My kids had become teenagers and I needed to spend more time with them; just be present if nothing else.  The AOTM was not allowing me to do that, mentally or physically.  It became evident by the fall of 2019 that I was not going to be able to pass on the AOTM.  I tried to figure ways to modify the AOTM that could maybe fit my situation.  I labored over the ideas for months then Covid hit.   It was a hard decision, but I came to the conclusion a few months ago that AOTMís time was done.  Over the next few months I will be closing down the official organization.  If I were to do anything like the AOTM again I would do it as a parish event.  

 

I would like to thank the many people who have helped make AOTM possible over the many years:

-First to my wife Janene who has stood by me through all the trials of AOTM over the years.

-Thanks to my friend and co-founder DJ Simerson who passed away this September.  DJ helped me get the AOTM going and came up with the name for our group.  He was a good friend and confidant through the years.  God bless you DJ and may you rest in peace!

-Thanks to my friend Josh Teske who has been a reliable friend and help.  When everyone else was gone or there was a crisis, Josh was always there to step in.

----Thank you, Father Echert and St. Augustine/Holy Trinity staff for all their help and support over the years.  Especially the support of Father Echert.  You gave us a shot when no one else would.  Could not have done this without your help and support.  

-Thanks Fr. Brenna and the priests at All Saints for your years of service, offering Holy Mass at the AOTM.  God bless!  
-This leads me to another point. I would really like to thank, in a special way, a core group of AOTM speakers/moderators:Father Echert, David Deavel, Dr. Steve Moore, Michael Olson, Michael Matt, and Josh Teske. 
-These men managed debates, were moderators, would step in as speakers/debaters and would fill in when other speakers/debaters would drop out at the last moment! 
 God Bless you Gentlemen for all your efforts!  
 It is not easy to come in and sit in the hot seat at the last moment, however, moderating proved to be more difficult than doing the debate itself many a time! 
-And a special shout out to Michael Matt, Carol Matt, Walter Matt and The Remnant team for all the help in making contacts with speakers, assisting in their travel logistics and advertising for the event.  It was a great pleasure doing all the videos and interviews over the years!  Thank you for all your encouragement and support.  It was good getting to know you all!

-A special thanks to Dale Ahlquist and the late Dr. Pence, for all their support over the years, especially in the beginning.  

They were "AOTM when AOTM wasnít cool,Ē as Dr. Pence used to say.   Always willing to come in and defend their positions against any crowd.  Thank you, Dale for your courage and helpful support all these years.  May God give you eternal rest Dr. Pence and reward you for your efforts.
-And then to all the countless volunteers who came on a regular basis to help set up, tear down, cook and feed the masses! 

 In particular Colin Cain and David Dvorak who coordinated many logistics with the parish space, maintenance, outdoor/tent set-up, etc.  And special thanks to Jim Beers who always got the food in on Saturdays and stuck around to do whatever was needed during the event! To Paul Sirba, who would take charge of the kitchen in my stead, stayed so many nights when all were gone to help me close up!  He pretty much did whatever was needed!  God bless you my friend!  I would also like to remember Dan Knight who early on helped me food prep and cook all the way through to the event.  Those were some long hours thanks for the work!  We had other cooks like Phil Vanner and cannot forget the Saturday prep crew, sometimes set up by Peter Dahdah and others.  Dan Millard our cigar guy and all around volunteer!   And who can forget the Doorman, Mr. John Hastreiter!  Great guy!  Canít thank him enough for his service and reliability!  You gave me a great sense of peace of mind!  And thanks Tim Garry, Mike Rosenthal and Max Rosenthal for taking over as doorman the last season or two when John retired.  It was a last minute deal but you did great!  I canít name everyone here but thank you all very much for the time and effort!  Thank you, my friends!

 

- And who can forget Dale Sherf and his team of bar tenders.  Thanks Dale, for creating a team that faithfully did the job so well and giving me peace of mind!  And bringing to the event some of the finest beverages in the metro by way of Joe Dahdah, Peter Dahdah, Per Hansen, Phil True, Samir and others!  Great job!

 

Special thanks to all the men that volunteered your menís group, Colin Cain (St. Augustine) Jeff Lentsch (St Joeís, West St. Paul), Michael OíBrien (St. Charles Borromeo, New Brighten), Leo Pusateri and Ted Statz (St Cloud men), Tom Balster ( with me since the Broiler in St. Paul) and Kevin Mullally (St. Helena, S. Minneapolis), Tim Garry (St. Peter, Forest Lake) and Valís group from the Catholic Defense league, Barry Bruss from Rochester and the guys from LaCross.  I really appreciate all the hard work you did to rally your troops!  Sometimes having to rally at the last minute.  I know it was not easy.  Thanks so much and God Bless!

 

Hats off to Joseph Kolles, DJ, Keith Carl, Paul Sellors, Walter Matt, Jeff Davis and Dennis Becker for all your work with the media.  Thank you so much for your time and hard work! Paul you got us off the ground and did a great job for so many years!  Walt and Jeff, you filled in at the last moment!  Thanks for being there and being up to the task!  Joe, DJ and Keith I really appreciated all your help getting things to work right, helping us upgrade and being so dependable!  Tech can be such a troublesome thing and you guys were always up to the task of making it work!  You really helped us pull off some great things during the events and did some really nice recordings!  God Bless Gents!

 

Thanks to Dan Selner and Greg Selner who helped AOTM set up our webpage and was our tech support with all internet media.  Tech can be so great when it works and so frustrating when it does not!  So many times, these men came through in the eleventh hour when things had to get out.  Thanks Dan and Greg for all your patience, time and effort!

 

Big thanks to Kelly Rowe and Stephen Kelly!  These generous guys helped AOTM set up as a nonprofit and have been my legal counsel over the years.   Even now Kelly is helping me wrap things up with the AOTM.  Thanks much for all your time and effort.  Glad to have gotten to know you!

 

And last of all thanks to John Sondag for convincing me to move  AOTM from the St. Clair Broiler to St. Helena which launched us into new beginnings.

 

Without the help of these and so many more generous volunteers (Sorry if I missed anyone, please forgive me it is hard to get everyone) AOTM would not have been a reality!  Thank you so much for helping me make AOTM a reality for 18 years of events (Broiler 2001, St. Helena 2002- Oct 2004 and St. Augustine Oct 2005-May 2019)

 

 

I am very happy and fortunate to have worked with you all, come to know you and made so many friends!   May God Bless you all and may God keep you!

 

Kent Wuchterl

P.S.  My email kent@aotmclub.com is still my working email but this will be my last email blast.