Monday, April 29, 2013

A Record Event! $2.1 Million Raised Supporting Everyday Miracles

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From left to right: Doug Donatelli, Chair of Catholic Charities
Board of Directors; Raul and Jean-Marie Fernandez,
2013 Gala Chairs; Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington;
 and Msgr. John Enzler
What is a miracle?

At Catholic Charities, we see miracles every day, when hope blossoms where once there was despair. When food gets on the table of a hungry family. When a sick child can see a doctor. When someone unemployed and homeless finds works and can finally pay rent. 

Urban Nation HIP-HOP Choir welcomed guests
into the beautiful ballroom.
Our annual Gala on Saturday night was a celebration of these miracles that you help us create. This year we feel so blessed to have raised a record $2.1 million to fund so many more miracles for people who need them most!

This theme for the evening - "Believe...Together we can create everyday miracles" - was selected by our Gala Chairs, Jean-Marie and Raul Fernandez. "We strive to follow the example of Christ, who performed many miracles in his ministry to teach us the value of every life and the importance of loving our neighbor," they said. 

"Looking around the room, we see people from many different fields, backgrounds, and lives. Yet tonight, we all share the common bond to see our community made even stronger, to see those who have fallen get a hand up. We believe that we can be a part of creating everyday miracles!"

Cardinal Wuerl greets Pat and Mary Anne Clancy,
longtime supporters of Catholic Charities
The Fernandezes added several exciting new features to our annual event. Our live auction gave lucky bidders once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to experience the history and majesty of the Catholic Church, including a dinner with Cardinal Wuerl and a pilgrimage to Rome to highlighted with the chance to witness one of Pope Francis' weekly audiences. And guests raved over the evening's live entertainment from Urban Nation HIP-HOP Choir and the Spazmatics, a high-energy 80s cover band. Catholic Charities' Young Professionals kept the party going into the wee hours of the morning with our first-ever after-party!

It was a truly memorable night - both because of all the fun we shared, and because of all the good we can do thanks to the support of more than 1,000 guests. Thank you, thank you, thank you! All those whom we serve are blessed by your love, compassion, faith-filled service, and support.

Get a first look at the event in the pictures below:

During his remarks, Father John focused on Pope Francis' example of humility and service for the world. The everyday miracles of love and compassion he performs for those in need are true inspiration to us at Catholic Charities!

 Father John greets Mayor Vince Gray (right) and Robert S. Bennett

Why do the Trones look so excited? They placed a winning bid at our live auction for a wonderful trip to Rome - including attending the Pope's weekly audience!

High fives for Catholic Charities!

Catholic Charities' Young Professionals joined the main Gala for the band - then enjoyed a DJ dance party afterwards!

The Spazmatics were a huge hit...

...rocking the stage with favorite songs from the 80s!