Over 240 people will gather Thursday evening to celebrate the work of Catholic Charities in local Jackson, Lenawee, and Hillsdale counties to raise funds for general operations.
The dinner will take place at 6:30 p.m. and is being held at Gene Davis and Sons Banquet Hall, which is next to the Catholic Charities Jackson office.
Developmental Coordinator Bea Cuthbertson said the event focuses on encouraging donors to join the St. Teresa of Calcutta Giving Society, which provides sustainable funding for many programs.
“The St. Teresa of Calcutta Giving Society is our group of most loyal donors who pledge to give $500 or more for 5 years or more,” Cuthbertson said. “The donations are pretty critical to help us expand and sustain programs we have in place.”
Antonia Busch ‘16, who is the new Catholic Charities Counselor in Hillsdale, said the dinner raises necessary funds to continue the mission of Catholic Charities in the three serving counties.
“Our services in the three counties touch foster care children, those in prison, homebound, and many others who are not able to care for themselves,” Busch said. “The mission of Catholic Charities is to ensure that those around us are served well, regardless of the return we receive from them.”
In addition to raising funds, the dinner plays an essential role in keeping the community informed about the services offered by Catholic Charities.
“The dinner is a way of getting the info out to people in the counties and helping them realize the importance of what we do,” Cuthbertson said.
Last year, Rev. Tim MacDonald and Rev. Joe Krupp hosted the event. Both of them will be hosting the event again this year. MacDonald said in an interview on the Bart Hawley Show, this year’s dinner will feature a bit more humor.
“It’s going to be a mix of comedy and inspiration. Last year was a little serious about the Mother Teresa Society and my experience of working with Mother Teresa and meeting her in Calcutta in 1997 shortly before her death,” MacDonald said. “This year is going to be more the leavity people would expect when Fr. Joe and I are together.”
Last year’s dinner had 250 attendees and a waiting list. While the vast majority of these attendees comes from the three serving counties, Cuthbertson said there were a couple of people in attendance from outside those three counties.
The dinner will highlight information about specific services and programs.
“We will have testimonials from clients of several of our programs and hear statistics on the number of people we serve in our three counties,” Cuthbertson said.
Some of these featured services and programs include: Roadmap to Graduation, senior transportation services, general counseling services, school counseling, substance abuse services, foster care and adoption services, and the Child Advocacy Center.
Dan Bishop, who is a board member for Catholic Charities, said in the same interview on the Bart Hawley Show that the event will be a great opportunity to hear about how Catholic Charities has a positive impact on the community.
“This will just be a terrific night,” Bishop said. “It will be a real family night, just to hear some inspiring stories and feel good about work that’s being done, but so much more work needs to be done with these different hurting people that are out there.”