Two married couples and three individuals with long records of committed service will be honored at the recently renamed “Archbishop’s Awards” dinner at the Beverly Hilton Feb. 24. 

Previously known as the Cardinal’s Awards, the black-tie gala dinner is a 34-year-old tradition in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles that also serves as a fundraiser for charitable causes. Proceeds from this year’s dinner will go to five Catholic schools with early childhood programs, one in each of the archdiocese’s five pastoral regions, as well as to the St. Sebastian Sports Project, which supports inner-city students participating in sports.

Here’s a quick look at this year’s honorees:

Thomas J. Blumenthal is the president and CEO of the iconic Beverly Hills jewelry store GEARYS. A convert from Judaism, Blumenthal is a believer in finding ways to honor those with vocations to religious life, as well as helping women embrace leadership roles. He is a board member at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Mount Saint Mary’s University in LA, and Santa Clara University’s Jesuit School of Theology. 

“I see Tom celebrating his faith as the pillar of everything he does for the community,” says Msgr. Kevin Kostelnik, who baptized Blumenthal and his parents when they entered the Catholic Church in 2008. “His gift of inclusivity is calling people of all faiths and walks of life to be leaders.”

Thomas said he sees his support for vocations as a way of paying it forward.

“It’s important to me to help them because those coming into this will be our spiritual directors of the future, and it’s natural to honor those who have served us so well in the past … they are a great example of those who come before them.”

Lew and Lisa Horne know a thing or two about being community leaders.

For years, Lisa has led a weekly rosary group for friends to pray for their children’s path toward heaven. A Dame of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, she has found her faith strengthened during the order’s annual trips to Lourdes. After their daughter Christina was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) soon after graduating from USC, they knew what to do. 

“Taking her to Lourdes as well was an important part of the healing process … I wanted to give her that faith moment,” Lisa said. The Hornes have funded research for MS and are proud to share that Christina and her husband, Dane, recently celebrated the birth of a son.

Lew is the board vice chair for Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters, a member of the Caruso Catholic Center Advisory Board, and a board member and past chair at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. He also serves as co-chair of the Central City Association Homelessness Initiative, a responsibility borne out of a family connection: He lost his brother to life on the streets in a homeless encampment.

In May 2023, Lew was honored at the Champions for Youth Gala by Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters, an honor that resonates strongly with him: He began sponsoring a little brother named Eddie 13 years ago.

Delia Wilson-Johnson has been an influential voice and inspirational example of compassion, prayer, and change in South Los Angeles for decades.

A Compton resident and parishioner at St. Lawrence of Brindisi Church in Watts, Delia’s knowledge and expertise have benefited numerous archdiocesan outreach programs, including the African American Catholic Center for Evangelization and the Anti-Racism Task Force. She is also a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of Peter Claver, which focuses on portraying higher principles of Christian womanhood and promoting friendship, unity, and Christian charity. 

But her most rewarding role these days, she said, is facilitating the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults: “Every conversation I have with those in formation helps me grow in my faith.”

Her former pastor at St. Lawrence, Auxiliary Bishop Matthew Elshoff, described Delia as a force of nature.

“She proclaims the word ‘evangelization’ with an exclamation point,” said Elshoff. “On top of that is an incredible faith where she will always assure people the Holy Spirit is present and will help.”

Daniel K. Walker is the fourth-generation leader of Farmers & Merchants Bank, which his great-grandfather C.J. Walker started in Long Beach in 1907. Now the executive chairman of the board, he believes in modeling the bank’s five basic pillars: honesty, integrity, the home, the church, and service above self.

“Our bank is God’s blessing,” Daniel said. “As I have been getting closer to Catholic organizations … I have told them clearly: My involvement with you is to allow you the opportunity to transform individuals in need of faith. If we don’t accomplish that goal, we are not following what the Bible is teaching us.”

When the Archdiocese of LA decided during the COVID-19 pandemic that it needed the support of the government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the bank made more than 350 PPP loans totaling $50 million available to the archdiocese. More than 66,000 Catholic school students benefited from keeping their teachers, with some 5,400 jobs retained.

In the 1950s, the bank assisted Rev. Robert Schuller when he built a church that became the famous Crystal Cathedral. Six decades later, Walker and Tiber helped orchestrate funding so that the Diocese of Orange could purchase the same building to serve as its new cathedral. 

“Dan has always been in a servant leadership mindset,” said F&M Executive Vice President Kevin Tiber. “He has identified F&M Bank as an unapologetically Christian business.”

Clare and Jim Gurbach saw firsthand the inequities when the oldest of their three daughters was playing volleyball at American Martyrs Catholic School: The opposing teams played with makeshift uniforms, lacked equipment, and had volunteer coaches.

So in 2009, they helped found the Saint Sebastian Sports Project, named after the patron saint of sports and athletes. Its mission: to provide every child, regardless of family income, the chance to learn, grow, and share in the joy of participating in a school sports team.

The project was launched with four schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and a few thousand dollars that had been donated as seed money. Since then, more than 60 schools have joined, hundreds of thousands of dollars have impacted thousands more children, and the quality of coaches, referees, and involved parents has made a noticeable difference.

With Clare as its executive director and Jim as the “do-whatever-is-needed” man, the Gurbachs have created a template to show Catholic schools how to overcome obstacles, including a lack of equipment, uniforms, or coaching. Their work has resulted in dramatic increases in children’s school attendance, confidence, teamwork, and academic achievement.

“The Holy Spirit really tapped us on the shoulder when we saw a disparity in resources, and our pastor had always instilled in us to act on things we are passionate about,” said Clare, referring to American Martyrs pastor Msgr. John Barry.

Angelus contributor Tom Hoffarth contributed to this story. 

To learn more about the Archbishop’s Awards and this year’s honorees, visit