Catholic Charities raises funds, awareness at “Light of Hope”
Who says performing a work of mercy can’t be joyful?
About 200 supporters of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Peoria raised more than $115,000 (minus expenses) for the agency on Saturday night while enjoying a “Party on the Patio” of the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria.
“We really appreciate your presence,” said Sister Ana Pia Cordua, SCTJM, newly appointed president and director of mission and ministry for Catholic Charities. “Through your support you are bringing the love of Christ in merciful acts to those in need.”
The event was the seventh annual “Light of Hope” celebration raising awareness of and support for the work of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Peoria. This year’s edition introduced some new twists, including social time beneath a large white tent on the pastoral center patio.
For 90 minutes, guests mingled beneath the tent with one another as well as Catholic Charities and diocesan leaders — including Sister Ana Pia and Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC — as they sampled tasty food from various stations including salads, pastas, potatoes, and grilled kabobs.
“Catholic Charities serves so many people in so many good ways and it takes good people like you to make it happen,” said Bishop Jenky in welcoming those in attendance. In addition to introducing Sister Ana Pia,
Bishop Jenky also praised the work of those who serve with her on Catholic Charities’ new leadership team — Tricia Fox, chief executive officer, and Anthony Riordan, chief operating officer. He called them “gifted administrators” who are “the hands of the Lord in serving his people, especially his little ones.”
The party then moved inside the pastoral center, where another first took place — a trivia contest designed to educate about the mission of Catholic Charities in a fun way. The evening ended with a live auction of six items, including a dinner with Bishop Jenky and Sister Ana Pia, Florida trip packages, and tickets to a Notre Dame football game courtesy of Bishop Jenky.
Capping the event was a drawing for a new 2011 Mazda Miata convertible, donated by Scherer Mazda. About 350 tickets at $100 each were sold for a chance to win the red sports car or three other prizes. Sister Ana Pia drew the winning tickets, including the grand prize winner, Stephen Kelly of St. Philomena’s Parish, Peoria.