Catholic Women’s League of Peoria elects officers, gives $15,500 to charities

Officers and directors serving the Catholic Women's League are (from left): Ann Gerardo, Vicki Rocke, Sandy Gasparovich, Sally Jacobsen, Patricia O'Connell, Beth Bussan, Joan Weber, and Melane Picl. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Crediting prayer and “God’s grace and guidance,” members of the Catholic Women’s League of Peoria, Illinois, celebrated July 20 as they gathered in person for the first time since COVID-19 shut everything down.

The annual meeting, which included a boxed lunch, was held in the parish hall of St. Philomena Church in Peoria.

“We tried Zooming. We tried everything to stay together, to meet and to continue our mission that you all know for the Catholic Women’s League,” said Beth Bussan, immediate past president, during her report. “So to you, the members, I say ‘thank you.’”

Board members hadn’t wasted any time since the last annual meeting on April 9, 2019. They presented a slate of nominees for a variety of offices, including that of president, as well as revised by-laws for the organization.

And despite the need to rebuild the organization after the pandemic, the Catholic Women’s League was able to donate $15,500 to 10 local charities this spring. They include: Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Peoria (St. Nicholas Charity on Wheels), Central Illinois Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Missionaries of Charity, Neighborhood House (Common Place) and Peoria Notre Dame High School (scholarship fund).

Also receiving allocations were: Phoenix Community Development Center Services, Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception (ministry to the elderly), Sophia’s Kitchen, St. Augustine Manor, and the Women’s Care Center.

ELECTION, BY-LAWS

Patricia O’Connell, who would be elected to serve as president of the Catholic Women’s League, presented revised by-laws for the organization at the annual meeting on July 20 at St. Philomena in Peoria. (The Catholic Post)

The election of officers and directors resulted in unanimous approval by the members for the following: Patricia A. O’Connell, president, of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Peoria Heights; Vicki Rocke, vice president, St. Philomena Parish, Peoria; Sally Jacobsen, secretary, St. Philomena; Joan Weber, treasurer, St. Jude Parish, Peoria; Ann Gerardo, financial secretary, St. Philomena; Sandy Gasparovich, St. Anthony Parish, Bartonville; Melanie Picl, membership director, St. Thomas the Apostle; and Beth Bussan, who continues as immediate past president, St. Philomena.

The by-laws, which hadn’t been revised since 2015, added language and items required of nonprofit organizations by the State of Illinois, among other things. In a sign of the times, one of the new sections regarding the board of directors addresses electronic meetings and the preferred methodology to be used.

Other changes include changing the membership year from the fiscal year to a calendar year. The general meeting will now take place in the second week of March rather than November, and the annual meeting will be scheduled for November rather than April.

Dues were increased from $10 to $20 per year for all members except life members, who will still pay $10 per year.

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