Catholic Women’s League allocates $16,500 in grants to assist 13 organizations

Catholic Women's League officers for the next two years are (from left) Joan Manning, Eileen Hahn, Mary Ann Asciutto (seated), Angie Metz, Jeanette Borsberry, Beth Bussan, Joan Cheatham (seated), and Gail Kruse. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Thirteen organizations that serve the elderly, the homeless, at-risk babies and those in need in the Peoria area recently received $16,500 in grants from the Catholic Women’s League to continue their work.

During the 2016 Allocation Luncheon, which was held May 10 at the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria, the Catholic Women’s League also installed new officers, thanked those who had completed their service on the board, and recognized an “angel” in their midst.

Angie Metz presents a check for $1,000 to Kristen Berchtold of South Side Office of Concern. The Peoria organization seeks to end homelessness. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

Angie Metz presents a check for $1,000 to Kristen Berchtold of South Side Office of Concern. The Peoria organization seeks to end homelessness. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

The 530 members of the league raised enough money in the last year to allocate $8,000 to Peoria Notre Dame High School for financial aid scholarships, and $1,000 to the Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception (Heading Avenue Franciscans), South Side Office of Concern, St. Augustine Manor, Sophia’s Kitchen and the Women’s Care Center.

Receiving checks for $500 were Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Peoria, Christ Child Society of Central Illinois, Common Place, Missionaries of Charity, Central Illinois Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Renaissance Stand, and St. Joseph’s Home of Lacon.

In thanking CWL members, Sister Mary Barbara Buckley, OSF, assured them that their grant would help the Heading Avenue Franciscans carry on the ministry to the elderly that they began more than 100 years ago.

“We have a wonderful home in Springfield that is still functioning. Our efforts here in Peoria now amount to volunteering to help the elderly — especially the elderly poor whose needs we become aware of,” she told them. “Your generosity and the generosity of other benefactors like you enable us to do volunteer ministry.”

Those who represented the other charitable and service organizations followed suit, talking about the need and offering their gratitude on behalf of the people who would benefit.

GAVEL PASSED

Before welcoming new members, the Catholic Women’s League board thanked retiring members Mary Jo Callahan, immediate past president, and Arlene Heinz, secretary, for their work.

Longtime member Joan Manning received the 2016 Angel Award. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Longtime member Joan Manning received the 2016 Angel Award. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

In her last official act as president, Angie Metz of St. Philomena, Peoria, presented the gavel to Beth Bussan, also a member of St. Philomena. Metz will continue on the board as immediate past president.

The other new officers include: Gail Kruse, St. Edward, Chillicothe, secretary; Jeanette Borsberry, St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria, treasurer; Mary Ann Asciutto, St. Thomas the Apostle, Peoria Heights, financial secretary; Joan Cheatham, St. Monica, East Peoria, membership director; Eileen Hahn, St. Monica, funding director; and Joan Manning, St. Philomena, spiritual development director.

Manning was also revealed to be the 2016 recipient of the Angel Award, which is given to a league member “who demonstrates commitment and leadership, along with exemplary service to the Catholic Women’s League.”

Manning taught fourth grade at St. Thomas the Apostle School in Peoria Heights for 18 years before retiring in 2000. She joined the Catholic Women’s League the same year and was elected to her first term as financial secretary in 2006. She would serve two more terms, from 2011 to 2015.

Manning and her husband, Bill, have four grown children.

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