Sapphire & Gold Gala

Save the Date

The 24th annual Sapphire and Gold Gala will take place on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at the Oak Park Country Club.

Invitation to follow.

The annual Sapphire & Gold Gala is St. Luke School’s largest fundraiser. Parents, teachers, alumni, and friends come together and raise money to help St. Luke School continue to provide a quality Catholic education. All money raised at the event goes directly toward the operation of the school. These funds help offset increases in operating expenses, while maintaining our outstanding programs.

About the Sapphire & Gold Gala

2022 Gala Honorees: The Darley Family

The Darley Family has been active in St. Luke and St. Bernardine Parish since the 1920s. Peter Darley’s grandparents, William and Mary, built a home on Jackson Avenue and raised their children Pat, Bill, Julia, and Reg. All four attended St. Luke School early in the 1930s and ’40s.

Around 1930, William and Mary worked with Daprato Rigali Studios and donated the beautiful marble statue of the Crucifixion scene that our parishioners have enjoyed and admired for many years.

Bill and Jeanne Darley met each other in kinder­garten, and the story is told that Peter’s mother, Jeanne, gave Bill a quick kiss way back in first grade at St. Luke School. All eight of their children — Bill, Stephen, Peter, Tom, Krina, Jim, Paul and Annie — were raised in the family home and all of them also happily attended St. Luke School. “Having eight kids was not unusual back in the ’60s and ’70s,” wrote Peter. “There were St. Luke families with twice as many. The Darley boys used to tell the story of how some of the school moms instructed their daughters that when you walk home from school, don’t walk past the Darley house on Jackson Avenue.”

Peter and Karen Darley met when Karen was studying to be a dentist and Peter volunteered to be a student patient. Karen still works as a dentist and enjoys working with many parishioners at the Lynch Dental Center in River Forest. Peter has worked full-time for the Darley Company for over 40 years. The company, founded by William Darley in 1908, is still family-owned. Darley Company serves first responder and tactical communities with a wide variety and range of products. Peter is part of the third generation running the company and is happy to see so many of the next generation (G4) of Darley Family now working at the company.

Peter and Karen were married at St. Luke Church in 1982 and raised their sons Mathew, William, and Kevin in the home on Jackson Avenue. Of course, all three of the boys treasured attending St. Luke School as well. William recently married Katie Trucco at St. Luke Church, following the footsteps of their parents and of William’s grandparents. It was a wonderful day, and the church has never looked so beautiful.

When asked for their thoughts on what is now St. Luke and St. Bernardine Parish, Peter and Karen wrote, “The Darleys realize that we are all so blessed as all of our family members have enjoyed the many benefits of being part of the parish commu­nity over many years. The education, spiritual development, special activities, and special relationships enjoyed and gained over the years are priceless and appreciated. Our family has always cherished being part of the parish, which has always embraced and has been welcoming to all families. The Darley Family is humbled and honored to be recognized, and we are also so thankful for everything that St. Luke’s has done for our family.”

2022 Heart of St. Luke Honoree: Dave Hodge

David Hodge was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and raised in Chicago. In November 1978, at the young age of 17, Dave enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was deployed to Parris Island, S.C. for boot camp and then on to Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he began learning his military occupation as a radio opera­tor. Dave quickly mastered the system he operated, and by the end of his tour was designated Sergeant E-5. During his service with the Marines, he was stationed at Camp Geiger in North Carolina, MCAS in Arizona, Norway, Iceland, Azores, and the Glenview Naval Air Station.

In 1987, Dave was lucky enough to marry the love of his life, Aileen. As they say, behind every good man is a great woman and this rings true for this couple. Aileen and Dave are blessed to have two boys: Davey born in 1995 and Joey in 1998.

Dave began his almost 40-year tenure with the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1982 at Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Chicago, where he worked with St. Luke Parish’s former pastor Fr. Ken Fischer. Dave stated that, at the time, he wasn’t yet sure what he wanted to do in life occupation-wise so he used the opportunity to prove himself as worthy of the position of building engineer of six buildings at such a young age. While at Our Lady Help of Christians, Dave was an instrumental part of the church renovation project.

In 1993 he moved to Sacred Heart Parish in Winnetka. That same year he enrolled in trade school in order to be certified in HVAC and electrical work. While at Sacred Heart, Dave was involved in multi-million dollar projects, including a school addition and a new parish center. 

In November 2007, Dave decided it was time for a change and called his old friend Fr. Fischer, who was then pastor of St. Luke Parish, to see if he knew of any job openings. As they say, the Lord works in mysterious ways because the maintenance man at the time had decided to retire right before the first snowfall. Fr. Fischer invited Dave to interview for the role and Dave was hired as the new maintenance director. Much to Dave’s delight, he was able to work again with the person who had taken a chance on a 21-year-old back in 1982.

From his first days at St. Luke Parish and School in January 2008, he said it felt like home. The parishioners, staff, and the students have always supported him and appreciated his hard work, which he says motivates him to always want to give it his all. 

During his time at St. Luke, Dave has been a part of many projects in the school including upgrading building mechanicals, working as the liaison for countless projects to make sure contractors get the job done to specification, tuckpointing the parapet walls, and replacing and refurbishing the window lintels. For St. Luke Church, he managed the massive tuckpointing work on the building and the major reconstruction of the bell tower. And, most recently, he worked with the committee and contractors on the interior renovation of the church. The last year and half have been challenging at the school due to the pandemic and ensuring that everything has been safe for the students and staff — of which Dave is very proud.

One of the things Dave loves most about working for the parish is that everyone agrees that the buildings and operation of them is of the utmost importance. With the creation of the new St. Luke and St. Bernardine Parish, Dave is now the Building Engineer of both complexes. It’s certainly a challenge, but he is happy to tackle anything and everything that needs to be done. Along with his team of Octavia Mercado and his son Joey, Dave knows they will be up to the challenge.

Dave is humbled and honored to be named Heart of St. Luke School. He has always been a behind- the-scenes kind of guy, so he says it feels a little awkward to be thrust into the limelight, but he thanks everyone from the bottom of his heart.