On Saturday, April 30, the main ballroom of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel was filled with more than 1,000 people at the Catholic Charities Gala, laughing and dancing much like a large, albeit fancy, family reunion. The annual event is the most important night to fundraise for the 83 programs working locally and it did not disappoint. Gala Chair James V. Reyes announced the evening had raised $2,000,000!
|Cardinal Wuerl shares his thanks for our supporters|
But the highlight of the evening was watching three Catholic Charities clients who had the chance to greet Pope Francis share their story during a short video. Spontaneous applause broke out several times as stirring images of the Pope flashed across the room. Each client spoke of the excitement and peace at the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they had experienced while getting help at Catholic Charities.
Amidst the tuxedos and gowns, the theme of the night was clear; Catholic Charities is able to help 120,000 men, women, and children each year because of the generous support of the community. Father John, James V. Reyes, and Cardinal Donald Wuerl each expressed their gratitude for the people who donate their time and their resources to help Catholic Charities reach the marginalized and poor in our Archdiocese.
|Chair James V. Reyes (top left), Father John (top center)|
Cardinal Donald Wuerl (top middle) and honored guests
The funds raised by the Gala, considered “unrestricted”, meaning they can be plugged into any use needed, are vital for supporting many of the services that our clients could otherwise not afford to pay for.
As Pope Francis said during his visit to us, "Charity is born of the call of a God who continues to knock on our door, the door of all people, to invite us to love, to compassion, to service of one another." It's times like the gala that remind us of all the people who answer this call every day. Thank you!