Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Over $2 million raised in a single night to fund our good works in the Archdiocese of Washington

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Stacie and Lou Christopher, our 2012 Gala Chairs
This week each person who is part of our Catholic Charities family can smile a little brighter, because together, we’ve done something incredible. On Saturday night, for the first time ever, our annual Gala raised over $2 million! 

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes wowed the crowds!
This milestone is an important one for the Gala.  During the most challenging times of the recession, donors to the event helped Catholic Charities raise more than $1.2 million at the event for each of the past three years. These funds were critical as local governments made cuts and the demand for help increased. Thanks to the leadership of Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, and Gala Chairs Stacie and Lou Christopher, this year’s Gala has broken through the recession, raising a grand total of $2,009,000 to equip our 77 programs with resources to bring help and hope to even more people in need.

Cardinal Wuerl and Father John
“Now is a critical time in our community. It’s still too hard for a family to get up when they’re knocked down.  This Gala ensures our programs can provide food, offer job training and deliver medical care,” said Msgr. John Enzler (Father John), our President and CEO.
An incredible show of support for Catholic Charities!
The dancing began when Southside Johnny took the stage!

The Christophers, close friends of Father John’s from his time as pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish, themed this year’s event “Share the Spirit of Hope – Light the Way.” In a special video presentation, supporters got a glimpse of several individuals for whom Catholic Charities has lit the way to a more hopeful and independent life: a single mother who received support through our TEN program, a group of students with developmental disabilities who are making academic strides through our Kennedy Institute, and Eric Hardy, a young man featured on our blog not long ago, who overcame homelessness through the help of our Fortitude Housing program. 

We were honored to welcome Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, as the recipient of our 2012 Voice of Hope Award, celebrating his enormous philanthropic contributions both here in the archdiocese and abroad. The event, held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, also included a cocktail hour, elegant dinner, and plenty of dancing once Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes heated up the stage with rock-and-roll favorites. 

At one special moment, Father John looked around the ballroom and asked the crowd to raise their hands if they wanted to support the work of Catholic Charities. The sea of hands that swelled in the next moment sent out a powerful message that our neighbors in need are not alone in their struggles – they have over a thousand hands outstretched to help them! 

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Even more Gala pictures are available here
Save the Date: Next year’s Foundation Gala will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2013 with Gala Chairs Jean-Marie and Raul Fernandez.

Want to hear about more Catholic Charities events? Fan us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Visit our website!

Missed the Gala, but still want to support our work? Make a donation here!