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Jerry Mathers headlines the Bishop's Dinner for Catholic Schools

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bishop Walker Nickless and The Catholic School Foundation of the Diocese of Sioux City proudly announce Sioux City native Jerry Mathers as the featured speaker for the sixteenth annual Bishop's Dinner for Catholic Schools.

The dinner is scheduled for October 14, 2012 at Sioux City Convention Center.

Best known for his role in the iconic television show "Leave it to Beaver," Mathers was born at St. Joseph's Hospital in Sioux City on June 2, 1948. He was baptized on June 20, 1948 by Father Thomas Molloy at Immaculate Conception Church. Jerry and his family lived in Sioux City for about a year following his birth before moving to California.

Jerry's television and show business career began at the tender age of 2 when he did a Pet Condensed Milk commercial with Ed Wynn on the "Colgate Comedy Hour." It was in 1957 however; with the debut of the series "Leave it to Beaver" that Jerry entered the hearts and homes of America. An immediate success, the show gained national attention and ran for six seasons, totaling 234 episodes. When it celebrated its 50th anniversary on October 4, 2007, the show became the longest running scripted show in television history. Currently shown on TV Land and in countries throughout the world, "Leave it to Beaver" has made Jerry an American Icon.

In 2007, Jerry made his Broadway debut with a starring role as Wilbur Turnblad in the Tony winning best musical, "Hairspray" at the Neil Simon Theater. Jerry in his first week boosted the attendance from 75% to 90% and for the rest of his run he played to standing room only houses with attendance at 110%.

In 2009 and 2010, Jerry was the national spokesperson for PhRMA and their Partnership for Prescription Assistance program. This organization helps uninsured and financially-struggling patients obtain prescription medicines for free or nearly free. The program is a nationwide effort sponsored by America's pharmaceutical research and manufacturing companies -- raising awareness of patient assistance programs and the need to effectively address the rising and alarming rates of chronic disease.

Jerry's ties to Sioux City run deep as his father, Norman Mathers, was born in and grew up in the Morningside area of Sioux City where he attended Immaculate Conception Elementary School, East High School and graduated from Morningside College. Norman also served as a pilot during World War II before returning to Sioux City in 1947.

Jerry's grandparents, Gerald and Irene Mathers, were also Sioux City natives. Gerald (whom Jerry is named after) was a letter carrier while Irene was a stay-home mother. Jerry's fondest memories of Sioux City include summer visits to his grandmother's house on Douglas Street.

Mathers states the Catholic faith has provided a moral compass to always guide his decisions in life.

Mather will headline the Bishop's Dinner for Catholic Schools (including Storm Lake St. Mary's) speaking about how the American family has changed over the years. Tickets for the Dinner will go on sale August 27th and can be purchased online at www.scdiocese.org or by calling (712) 255-7933. All proceeds from the Bishop's Dinner support the 17 Diocese Catholic schools.

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