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Going strong after 38 years

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The sold-out 38th annual Catholic Charities Ball, held at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner, attracted more than 1,000 attendees and raised a significant portion of annual funds needed to support 21 programs that serve vulnerable people throughout the diocese.

The festive event, founded by a committee of volunteers nearly 40 years ago, continues to be volunteer organized and attracts priests, parishioners and business people from throughout the diocese to raise funds to support people in need, from the far corners of the Northern Neck to Winchester in the west, Culpepper in central Virginia, to Arlington, in the heart of Northern Virginia.

This year’s ball, themed “With Love and Charity,” raised nearly $1.3 million toward the overall $14 million budget.

“I am incredibly grateful for yet another successful Catholic Charities Ball, and for the sacrifices those in attendance made to support the many Catholic Charities ministries which uplift the needy and vulnerable in our Diocese,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. “It is inspiring to see so many people compelled to model Christ’s own love for us through their generosity and faith.

“I pledge my continued support for the Ball and pray that we only increase the number of people Catholic Charities serves in years to come,” he said.

Bishop Burbidge announced at the ball that Catholic Charities’ Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic, which serves uninsured adults in Manassas and Manassas Park, will expand and open a new clinic in Woodbridge this spring, in the space now occupied by the Prince William County Free Clinic, to serve uninsured and underinsured adults in Prince William County.

Billy Atwell, chief communications officer for the diocese, served as emcee. Honored this year were:

St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in Colonial Beach and St. Anthony of Padua Church in King George (one parish with two communities), who received the Bishop Loverde Award, which was accepted by their pastor Father Francis De Rosa. The award recognizes extraordinary commitment to the poor and which partnership with Catholic Charities. The parish has long served the poor through its Guadalupe Free Health Clinic, which was a model for Mother of Mercy clinic. In addition, the parish helps provide mental health counseling by Catholic Charities counselors and this summer began welcoming Catholic Charities’ Mercy Van — also known as the Mobile Response Center — which provides essential household supplies to families in need.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. Lindsay Jr. received the James J. Matthews Legacy Award recognizing individuals who embody spirit, determination and vision for the ball to charitably assist those in need. The Lindsays are longtime ball supporters and volunteers.

Mr. and Mrs. Ronald W. Steele, 2020 honorary chairs, have supported Catholic Charities and dozens of other charities assisting in education, social service and other programs for those in need for decades.

The volunteer-led ball raised funds for 21 Catholic Charities programs including transitional housing programs for homeless men at Christ House and homeless families at St. Margaret of Cortona Housing; the St. Lucy Project, a diocesan-wide food collection and distribution program for the hungry; the Mother of Mercy clinic; the emergency financial assistance program; mental health counseling for families and individuals at Catholic Charities offices and 17 parishes throughout the diocese; Pregnancy and Adoption Services; Hogar Immigrant Legal Services; Education and Workforce Development; Migrant and Refugee Services; the Prison Ministry and Welcome Home Re-entry program; the Car Ministry, and the new Opioid Epidemic initiative.

Snider is deputy director of diocesan communications.

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020