Staff Report (Florida Catholic)
Approximately 450 people participated in the annual Venetian Charity Ball which is held each year to support the programs of Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice in in Lee, Glades and Hendry counties.
Bishop Frank J. Dewane hosted the evening which took place April 1 at the Hyatt Coconut Point in Estero and thanked everyone for their participation, adding that their generosity will bring hope to those in need and help Catholic Charities continue its mission of serving all.
The 2017 Frank Galeana Sr. Humanitarian Award was presented to Nick and Patti Maurillo for their dedication to Catholic Charities and the Venetian Ball. The couple has been active in aiding victims of human trafficking and supporting the effort of Catholic Charities to provide services through the Victims Assistance Program. Patti Maurillo served as Ball chair for two years and serves as is the chair of the Catholic Charities of Lee County Advisory Board.
The special evening began with a â€śGift from the Heartâ€ť appeal, which generated great interest as people directly supported the programs of Catholic Charities which include Positive Youth Development Program, Senior Support Coordination Program, Human Trafficking Victims Assistance, Immigration Services, food assistance and pantries, and direct assistance.
There was also a live auction featuring several trips and two rescued puppies. In addition, there was a silent auction as well as a raffle which included a grand prize of a new car. Musical entertainment was provided by the Paul Vesco Orchestra.