For the second year in a row, rising senior Gabe Gelke has won the Rochester Polish Heritage Literary Competition along with the Wachtel Literary Award from the American Council for Polish Culture. His essay this year was on Communism in Poland and St. John Paul II. Gabe is the 2018-19 president of the Executive Council, is a member of the football and track teams, cantors in the music ministry, is a member of the St. Joseph Arimathea Pallbearer Society, and serves as an admissions ambassador. Gabe recently received the Bausch + Lomb Honorary Science Award from the University of Rochester. Gabe also is an altar server at his local parish and a certified lifeguard.
The Literary Awards (formerly Competition) was established in 1995 by Estelle Wachtel-Torres MD in memory of her father, Stanley Zenon Wachtel. Wachtel was a pioneer of Chicago's Polish Theatre. In Detroit, he became the long-time producer of the Polish Language Radio Program on WJLB, WEXL and WNBC. Plus, he was a lead writer as well as an announcer on Polish radio. The Literary Awards (Competition) was established to foster the endeavors of Polish American Youth in the fields of journalism and/or literature. In order to be considered for an award, the age criteria is from junior high school until the age of 30 (in case of an individual studying for a doctorate or master's degree).