Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Our Spanish Catholic Center Gala brings in a record $720,000!

Best Blogger Tips

We are really, really, really excited to report that on Saturday night, the annual Spanish Catholic Center Gala raised a record $720,000! It was a smashing evening, to say the least, as Gala Chair Franco Nuschese (CEO of Georgetown Media and owner of the famous Café Milano in Georgetown) pulled out all of the stops to support the Spanish Catholic Center. The Gala was hosted by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington.

All proceeds from the evening go directly to the programs serving low-income Latinos and immigrants who have come to our community seeking a better future. The Spanish Catholic Center, a program of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, worked with more than 42,000 people last year.

The black-tie event (so fancy!) was held at the Organization of American States, located across from the White House Ellipse. The evening of dinner and dancing was highlighted by a first-time live auction for three dream vacation trips to Italy, organized by Nuschese. With a professional auctioneer leading the way, the auction raised $120,000 on the spot to support the medical and dental clinics, job training programs, emergency food assistance and many other services offered by the Spanish Catholic Center.

“I consider it an honor to have been chosen to head the gala, which is involved in so many important programs to help the Latino and other communities,” said Nuschese. “These are services that make life better for those who come to America seeking a brighter future for their families and themselves.”

The staff at the Spanish Catholic Center provide holistic care in a way that is culturally competent. Our staff come from countries around the world, and many of them are bilingual. So they understand that often clients face not one or two needs, but many as they strive to overcome poverty.

Cardinal Wuerl presented awards to three honorees: Michele Burke Bowe, Daniel Flores, who accepted on behalf of all clients served by the Center and Dr. William Battle, who accepted on behalf of the Archdiocesan Health Care Network.

As Daniel Flores accepted the award, it was a particularly touching moment as he had once received assistance through the Spanish Catholic Center. Today, he has a career working in the nonprofit sector and is a donor back to the Spanish Catholic Center – evidence of what is possible with opportunity. He accepted the award on behalf of all clients served by the Center, in recognition of their courage and the inspiration they provide to others.

Michele Burke Bowe has been a long-time volunteer, leader and supporter of the Spanish Catholic Center and Catholic Charities. The Archdiocesan Health Care Network, also a Catholic Charities program, is a network of 200 doctors and specialists who provide their care to low-income patients at no cost.

Learn more about the Spanish Catholic Center.

More media coverage in the Georgetown Dish.