Catholic Charities events support the needy

Now is the time of year that people are planning their busy seasonal social schedule, with lots of interesting choices, from evenings of elegance or just casual fun.

While choosing from the many opportunities Southwest Florida has to offer, consider these events for a chance to give back to the community. Proceeds go directly to help our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in need through the many programs of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc.

In most cases, the Catholic Charities galas are elegant black-tie affairs, but no matter what the attire, all of the proceeds will go directly to help those in the community where the event is held. This means that by buying a ticket you could help feed families, teach children to read or even prevent some from becoming homeless. Beginning in late January through March there are several chances to support Catholic Charities in an entertaining and unique way.

The Catholic Charities galas and events are of critical importance as they bring like-minded and faith-filled people together for a good cause.

“Catholic Charities does a wonderful job in providing programs that not only help in a crisis but assist in improving daily the lives of those they reach,” said Bishop Frank J. Dewane. “The support of Catholic Charities by the faithful is vital to the community. Each gathering serves to help educate people about a critical need in the area, while at the same time offering everyone a chance to have fun.”

Throughout 2023, Catholic Charities assisted more than 335,000 people in need, providing a wide range of services throughout the 10-county Diocese of Venice.

Services included emergency assistance, food and housing assistance, counseling and mental health services, and programs for seniors and children. More than $3 million was distributed throughout the year to provide financial assistance to keep families housed and fed in the ongoing recovery from 2022’s Hurricane Ian. Overall, disaster relief has reached far more than 100,000, and the assistance has transitioned into long-term recovery.

Additionally, Catholic Charities offers programs that help struggling families and seniors avoid homelessness, by operating several affordable housing communities (for example, Our Mother’s House helps moms with young children, and Casa San Juan Bosco has housing for farmworker families and the elderly in Arcadia). To address the chronic problem of hunger in the area, more than 270,000 children and individuals were assisted at six food pantries as well as support at food pantries at area Parishes. Catholic Charities also provides direct assistance for victims of human trafficking, and offers after-school education, youth services, empowerment programs, as well as a pre-school.

The upcoming events will be centered on various themes and benefit either regional or specific programs of Catholic Charities. Many of the events will include a cocktail hour, live and silent auctions, fine dining, dancing, and live entertainment. The list of events is as follows:

  • Catholic Charities Ball, 6 p.m., Feb. 17, Michael’s On East Ballroom, 1212 S. East Ave., Sarasota. The theme is “Serving All,” and supports the programs of Catholic Charities in Sarasota and Manatee counties. This year also marks the launch of the new Long-term Recovery Program, which is actively helping families still recovering from Hurricane Ian and other natural disasters. Tickets are $400 a person. Register online at For more information, 941-376-7845 or email
  • Our Mother’s House Wine Tasting, Auction and Dinner Dance, 5:30 p.m., Feb. 29, Venice Community Center, Venice, 326 Nokomis Ave. S., Venice. The event will benefit the mothers and children at Our Mother’s House, a 2-year transitional living program located in the heart of Venice, is dedicated to empowering single mothers and their young children. Tickets are $90. Register online at For more information, 941-485-6264 or email
  • Venetian Charity Ball, 6 p.m., March 9, at St. Leo the Great Parish Hall, 28290 Beaumont Rd., Bonita is themed “Restoring Our Community.” This event supports the programs in Lee, Hendry, and Glades counties, the communities hardest hit by Hurricane Ian in 2022. Tickets are $250. Register online at For more information, call 239-334-4007 ext. 2100 or email
  • Emerald Ball, 5:30 p.m., March 14, at Ritz-Carlton Tiburon Golf Resort, 2600 Tiburon Dr., Naples. This event celebrates 40 years of Catholic Charities in Collier County. Tickets are $400. Register online at For more information, call 239-455-2655 or email


For additional information about the good works of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., please visit