“Serving All” – Sarasota Ball marks 40th anniversary of Catholic Charities

Serving neighbors with help and hope, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., in Sarasota and Manatee counties strives each day to go out and assist those in need, whether it is an easy problem to fix, or something more complicated.

To ensure that the less fortunate of the community continue to receive the needed assistance, hundreds of like-minded individuals gathered together for the 2024 Catholic Charities Ball, Feb. 17, 2024, at Michael’s on East in Sarasota.

“Thank you for your generosity in making a valuable and essential contribution to what Catholic Charities can do throughout the year as its programs help many people, our neighbors in need, each day,” said Bishop Frank J. Dewane, who was the guest of honor for the evening. “I am grateful for your support, and the goodness you represent by your presence.”

Catholic Charities continues to serve the less fortunate in our community, serving as an emergency support for individuals and families, offering them the help they need to make themselves whole again, Bishop Dewane said.

“The staff of Catholic Charities does remarkable work, and I thank them for their hard work,” Bishop Dewane said. “The people with Catholic Charities witness every day the worst of situations and the best of people as they step forward to help our brothers and sisters in need. They are seen as the presence of Christ in the world, just as they see the presence of Christ in those they help.”

Catholic Charities provides a wide range of services, including emergency assistance, food and housing assistance, counseling and mental health services, and programs for seniors and children.

This help includes shelter for single mothers and their children in need at Our Mother’s House in Venice, and the continuing Hurricane Ian recovery throughout the Diocese. Catholic Charities continues to offer direct financial help and assistance, as well as mental health counseling to those still reeling from the impacts of the 2022 hurricane.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of Catholic Charities, which coincided with the founding of the Diocese in 1984. This added a special significance to the evening, said Bridget Spiess, who served as Chair of the Catholic Charities Ball.

Bridget Spiess, Chair of Catholic Charities Ball, welcomed everyone and said she was pleased with the continued support people have for Catholic Charities and the positive impact its many programs have upon the community. Other event committee members included Sandy Anderson, Virginia Auster, Dawn Burgess, Beth Cannata, Mary Beth Cotran, Sabrina Gison, Christina Hall, Judy Kozlowski, Leah Mihm, William Rex, Marilee Roberts, Alan Rose, Ana Weatherly, and Siobhan Young.

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.

The opportunity to support Catholic Charities does not end with the Sarasota Ball. If you would like to support Catholic Charities directly, please visit https://catholiccharitiesdov.org/donate.

Additional upcoming events will benefit regional or specific programs of Catholic Charities. These events will include a cocktail hour, live and silent auctions, fine dining, dancing, and live entertainment. The list of events is as follows:

  • Our Mother’s House Wine Tasting, Auction and Dinner Dance, 5:30 p.m., Feb. 29, Venice Community Center, 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, dedicated to empowering single mothers and their young children. Tickets are $90. Register online at http://bidpal.net/2024omh. For more information, 941-485-6264 or email omh@catholiccharitiesdov.org.
  • Venetian Charity Ball, 6 p.m., March 9, at St. Leo the Great Parish Hall, 28290 Beaumont Rd., Bonita Springs. The theme is “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 http://bidpal.net/vb2024. For more information, call 239-334-4007 ext. 2100 or email VenetianBall@catholiccharitiesdov.org.
  • 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 http://bidpal.net/eb2024. For more information, call 239-455-2655 or email emeraldball@catholiccharitiesdov.org.

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