Gala raises $225,000 for Little Sisters of the Poor

BOSTON — More than 300 attendees, including Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, gathered for the third annual Gala Dinner for the Little Sisters of the Poor on May 13 at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf Hotel. The event, which raised over $225,000 for the residence that serves the elderly poor in the greater Boston area, also featured a silent and live auction.

“Everyone has been really generous,” says Sister Celine Therese, mother superior of the residence. “This fundraiser helps us to put bread on the table and keep our house warm and cool. We are grateful to God and to all those who lend a hand and a heart to make this event successful.”

For gala chair, Bill Raftery, fundraising for the Little Sisters has become his personal mission. Raftery’s Aunt Emilie has been a Little Sister for almost 60 years, and his uncle, Father Bill Raftery, a Jesuit priest for 63 years, serves as chaplain of the residence.

“The fundraisers are absolutely crucial because the Little Sisters are not bringing in the income they used to,” says Raftery, vice president of global financial services for EMC Corp. “People want to give. They just want to give to organizations that clearly demonstrate big impact on the lives of others, especially the elderly poor.”

Bill Roche, whose cousin, Sister Joan Patricia, is a Little Sister, has seen firsthand the care the Little Sisters offer his father, a resident in the Somerville home. “The dedication and hard work of the Little Sisters is unparalleled in the health care profession and keeps the seniors emotionally as well as physically healthy,” he says.

“Growing up in Somerville you would always hear of the great work of the Little Sisters, and now as a city leader I have come full circle in my understanding of what it takes to offer this care,” added Roche, a city of Somerville alderman and manager at NSTAR Gas & Electric. Roche serves as a vice-chair of the Little Sisters advisory board. “The expenses are enormous and the revenues from this fundraiser make a big difference,” he said.