by Bob Reedy, Florida Catholic (4/20/2012)
NAPLES â€“Â The generosity and dedication of the many unsung supporters of Catholic Charities was on full display during numerous events and fundraisers from January through March.
Huge crowds participated in each of the main events which include: the Catholic Charities Ball and Mardi Grass inSarasotaCounty; Wine Tasting inVenice; Boots and Bandannas inDeSotoCounty; Venetian Ball inLeeCounty; and the Emerald Ball inCollierCounty.
Individuals, parishes and businesses stepped up to make these events a huge success. Each event serves to help support programs of Catholic Charities which aide approximately 40,000 individuals and families each year.
Those helped are often the neediest in the community, who would have nowhere else to turn without Catholic Charities, said Catholic Charities CEO Peter Routsis-Arroyo. Â â€śThis year was by far the most financially successful in the history of our events and it is a tremendous testament to the generosity and dedication shown by our Bishop, our parishes and those that support the mission of Catholic Charities.â€ť
Bishop Frank J. Dewane noted that the support of Catholic Charities is a testament to the work of the Catholic Charities in reaching out in the community.
â€śI extend my heartfelt appreciation for the faithful and generous spirit shown at this yearâ€™s Catholic Charity events,â€ť Bishop Dewane said. â€śIt is a true testament to your faith and the good work of Catholic Charities that the support is higher than it has ever been when economic times are difficult. The community support helps develop a partnership with Catholic Charities in their mission to improve the lives of those who are suffering in our community.â€ť
The 2012 Catholic Charities Ball was Jan. 28 at the Ritz-Carlton inSarasota. The event supports the programs inSarasotaand Manatee counties. The theme of the evening was â€śProviding Help, Creating Hope. Serving All.â€ť Time was taken out to honor Eileen Donovan, who died in 2011. Donovan had been honorary co-chair of the event for many years and was recognized for her unfailing support of Catholic Charities.
The Mardis Gras Madness was Feb. 18 at the Sarasota Yacht Club. The event helps support the programs of Bethesda House, a HIV/AIDS community support center.
The Wine Tasting was Feb. 23 at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Veniceto support Our Motherâ€™s House in Venice, a transitional residential program to help homeless mothers and infants become self-sufficient. Our Motherâ€™s House is currently celebrating its 25th Anniversary.
The 13th Annual Venetian Charity Ball was at the Hyatt Coconut Point inFort Myers on March 3. The event supports the programs in Lee, Glades and Hendry counties. The 2012 Frank S. Galeana Sr. Humanitarian Award was presented to Rosemary Quinlan Kelly, a longtime supporter of Catholic Charities.
The 10th Annual Boots and Bandannas dinner and auction was at Kingsway Golf and Country Club inLakeSuzy. The event supports the programs inDeSotoCounty and has a cowboy theme each year. Former event co-chair and longtime Catholic Charities supporter Rose Sherrard was honored. She died earlier in 2012.
The 27th Annual Emerald Ball was at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort inNaples. The event supports the programs of Catholic Charities inCollierCounty. With its annual Irish-theme, it was appropriately held on March 17, St. Patrickâ€™s Day. Naturally, many people were dressed in green. The James McTague Humanitarian Award Honorees were Richard and Barbara Mack. The Macks have been longtime supporters of Catholic Charities in Collier and started by volunteering at a food pantry in 1986.
For more information about how to continue to support Catholic Charities and its many programs, please visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org or call 941-484-9543.