Heading into its 36th year, Center for Hospice Care’s Helping Hands Award is presented to members of our community who have made a significant difference in the lives of others.

Our Honorees

Catherine Hiler was born in Belfast, N. Ireland, and emigrated to the U.S. with her parents and two brothers, joining extended family in New Jersey. Catherine earned her B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey; and pursued graduate study in corporate finance and business management at George Washington University and Golden Gate University.

Catherine then spent several years in San Francisco where she worked at First Interstate Bank of California as a corporate lending officer. After moving to Washington, D.C. in 1977, Catherine served on the minority staff to the Committee on Government Relations for the House of Representatives. She also served as Executive Director for both the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission and the White House Conference on Small Business. It was in Washington, D.C. that she met her future husband, Congressman John P. Hiler of Indiana.

Since moving to South Bend in 1993, Catherine and John have raised three daughters – Alison, Caitlin and Morgan – and served the community in many capacities. Catherine served on The Stanley Clark School board of trustees and was a parent representative on the John Adams High School committee that established the International Baccalaureate magnet program. In 2016, Catherine received the Individual Philanthropist of the Year Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

We like to believe that Catherine found her true passion when she was asked to serve on the Center for Hospice Care (CHC) board as a volunteer member more than 16 years ago and ultimately, the Hospice Foundation board. If that were not enough, Catherine graciously agreed to chair our five-year comprehensive campaign, “Cornerstones for Living: The Crossroads Campaign.” This five-year campaign, now in its final months, is focused on raising money to endow many of our signature programs and complete development of our Mishawaka Campus.

For more than 60 years, Sr. Carmel has dedicated her life to serving others both locally and internationally. As a Sister of the Holy Cross, she has mentored several generations of children as a teacher, enriched the lives of numerous individuals through her various volunteer endeavors, and enjoyed the comaraderie of her fellow Sisters while serving in Brazil.

Born in South Bend, Sister Carmel has spent most of her life in the area. She attended St. Mary’s Prep School, St. Joseph’s Academy and St. Mary’s College before venturing to Fort Wayne to earn her master of science in education from St. Francis College. Sr. Carmel’s teaching career began in 1954 and continued through 1985. Following her “retirement,” she began serving as librarian at St. Joseph High School, and only recently “retired”  – at the age of 85 – from her service as an assistant librarian.

First Responders - 2017

Bob Buetter - 2016

Joe Kernan - 2016

Lou Behre - 2015

Bob Deputy - 2014

Ann Manion - 2013

Mary Ferlic - 2012

Father Richard Warner - 2011

Dot Weikamp- 2010

Burkhart-Miller Family - 2009

Chris and Carmi Murphy - 2008

Mary Jane Stanley - 2007

Chuck Roemer - 2006

Spirit of Hospice - 2005

Roberta and Ben Ziolkowski - 2004

Mike Leep - 2003

Barbara Warner - 2002

Donald and Patricia Cressy - 2001

Lou Nanni - 2000

Sister Maura Brannick - 1999

Dr. Otis Bowen - 1998

William Shields - 1997

Elmer and Gerald Kamm - 1996

JoAnn Meehan - 1995

Dr. Roland & Dorothy Chamblee - 1994

Bishop Joseph Crowley - 1993

Rabbi Yisreal Gettinger - 1993

Fr. Gerhart Niermeyer - 1993

Fr. Theodore Hesburgh - 1992

Arthur J. Decio - 1991

Judd and Mary Lou Leighton - 1990

Richard Rosenthal - 1989

Jerry Hammes - 1988

Ernestine M. Raclin - 1987

Rev. Edmund Joyce - 1986

James Frick - 1985