‘Party on the Patio’ with Catholic Charities on May 21

Looking to “change things up” at its seventh annual “Light of Hope” celebration, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Peoria is inviting people to a “Party on the Patio” on Saturday, May 21. And one of those lucky guests will have the opportunity to drive home in a red 2011 Mazda Miata convertible.

True to the theme, the gathering will be held in a tent on the patio of the Spalding Pastoral Center at 419 N.E. Madison Ave. in Peoria. There will still be a short program, but gone is the formal, sit-down dinner, according to Celeste Matheson, director of advancement for Catholic Charities.

“Where we found that people really seem to enjoy the evening is in the beginning, where we have a cocktail hour and people just enjoy each other’s company. There’s lots of laughter and a lot of celebration and people see friends that they haven’t seen and they’re connected by a joint mission — the mission of Catholic Charities,” she said. “They’re all there for the same reason and that is to help us to provide help and create hope.”

With that in mind, the staff at Catholic Charities designed an event that would allow people to be outside and soak up the early summer weather, while they sample food from six stations. Among the offerings are a grilling station that features beef, chicken and vegetable kabobs, a salad station, a pasta station, a mashed potato station, a veggie and cheese station and a station where guests can build their own crustini.

“Within each food station we’ll pair that food with a premium beer and a premium wine that will compliment the taste,” Matheson said. “Not only are you going to be well fed, but you’re also going to learn a little bit about what type of wine will go well with the pasta or what type of beer you would drink with a sweet potato from the potato station.”

A dessert station with chocolate fountains will be available later in the evening.

After visiting the food stations, guests will be invited to come into the Spalding Pastoral Center for a short program and live auction. Among the auction items are two trips to Florida, a landscaping makeover package, University of Notre Dame football tickets donated by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, and a dinner with the bishop at Jim’s Steakhouse in Peoria.

A highlight of the evening will be a raffle, with the Mazda Miata as the grand prize. It was donated by Jim Scherer, owner of Scherer Mazda and a member of the board of directors of Catholic Charities.

The winner may take the car or a cash prize of $17,500.

The first prize will be $500 in Shell gas cards from MacDonald Shell. Also sponsoring the cards are St. Thomas School’s PTO in Peoria Heights and St. Mark’s, St. Philomena’s and St. Vincent de Paul in Peoria.

Second prize will be a $250 detailing package from Midwest Auto Salon.
The third prize is an “attendance prize” of $100. Matheson explained that while the winners need not be present for the other prizes, this will only be awarded to someone who is present at “Party on the Patio.”

The cost of a “patio pass” is $75 and will admit the bearer to the food stations, program and live auction. Raffle tickets are $100 each and only 350 will be sold.

To register, visit the agency’s website at ccdop.org and click on the link for “Light of Hope” or call Celeste Matheson at (309) 636-8029.

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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