Galas support Catholic Charities programs

Helping mothers who might otherwise be homeless become self-sufficient and productive members of the community is what Our Mother’s House is all about, while the Boca Grande Preschool provides a nurturing and educational haven for children.

These two programs of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., were showcased during special events in the past week. The annual Wine Tasting, Auction & Dinner event to benefit Our Mother’s House was held Feb. 29, 2024, at the Venice Community Center in Venice. The Beach Ball benefitted the Boca Grande Preschool, and was held March 4, at the Gasparilla Inn Beach Club in Boca Grande.

Hundreds showed their support for Our Mother’s House. Attendees made bids on silent auction items and an enthusiastic live auction.

Shannon Hoyt, the Program Director for Our Mother’s House, said for more than three decades the program keeps getting better at promoting self-sufficiency and pushing young mothers towards independence. When young mothers face homelessness, the impact is greater than many realize, including on an emotional and behavioral level. In addition, the young child feels what their mom is going through.

“Your support of Our Mother’s House is having an impact,” Hoyt said. “We couldn’t do what we do for mothers and their children without your help.”

The Boca Grande Preschool is situated on the serene campus of Our Lady of Mercy Parish and is dedicated to providing exceptional early education and childcare services for families residing or working on Gasparilla Island. The school staff is committed to providing a high-quality learning environment, catering to children aged 1 to 5, and offering a comprehensive preschool curriculum that stimulates intellectual, social, and emotional growth. The property received extensive damage from Hurricane Ian in 2022 and all major repairs have been completed.

Both the Beach Ball, as well as the Wine Tasting, had successful “Gift from the Heart” appeals.

To learn more about the Preschool, please call 941-964-2885 or email

For more information about Our Mother’s House or to help, please call 941-485-6264 or email

Support both programs by visiting