A season of gratitude

During the spring fundraising event season, Catholic Charities has the incredible opportunity to gather with supporters to celebrate the work we do and the clients we serve across Eastern Massachusetts -- while also thanking those who help us achieve our mission of building a just and compassionate society rooted in the dignity of all people.

This year, Catholic Charities Laboure Center honored Robert Sheridan, president emeritus of SBLI. Bob Sheridan has been a special friend to the children of the Laboure Center, where he has regularly come to read to a room of smiling faces in our child care programs, while also making sure that each child has a new book to bring home with them--quite a treat for all who enjoy listening to Bob share his favorite storybooks.

Catholic Charities North presented Mary Jane and David Solimini, Sr. and their family with its Longtime Partnership Award in recognition of their 50 years of leadership and support of Catholic Charities" work in the city of Lynn and beyond. In addition, Father Brian Flynn and St. Mary's Parish in Lynn, this year celebrating their 150th anniversary, received the Catholic Charities North Mutual Partnership Award, in appreciation for their friendship and mutual service to the families and communities served by Catholic Charities North.

Merrimack Valley Catholic Charities presented its Partners in Mission award to the Greater Lowell League of Catholic Women. Established in 1918 to provide spiritual and charitable works, the League continues this mission today. Generations of League members have been dedicated champions of social justice, and today its 165 members continue to raise funds in support of the work of Catholic Charities.

Marla and George Jenkins will be honored on June 8, 2013 by Catholic Charities South when they will receive the Peggy Simons Care and Compassion award in recognition of their dedication to their family, friends and faith, as well as their commitment to service.

As we do each year, Catholic Charities presents our Justice and Compassion Award--an award that recognizes someone who embodies the values of charity, compassion and service to those in need -- at our Spring Celebration. This year, we were delighted to present Marshall and Barbara Sloane with the Catholic Charities Justice and Compassion Award.

Marshall Sloane founded Century Bank more than 40 years ago, and has spent his career dedicated to building a successful business committed to community. Guided by their personal belief that people thrive when given the tools needed for success and the support needed to use them, the Sloanes are noted for their philanthropy. They have been supporters of the work of Catholic Charities for more than three decades and Catholic Charities is enormously lucky to have friends as dedicated as the Sloanes. Through their overwhelming generosity, the Sloanes have taught all who know them that love, dedication, compassion, and perseverance can overcome all.

We close the Catholic Charities spring event season as The Friends of Sunset Point Camp host the third annual "Reach for the Stars Clambake" on Saturday, June 15, rain or shine. This is a great opportunity to enjoy an evening with friends while supporting Catholic Charities and its efforts to provide children the gift of a unique summer camping experience. Sunset Point Camp, located in Hull, serves as a dream "vacation" for 400 children each summer. The goal of the camp has always been to provide children from low-income neighborhoods throughout the Greater Boston area -- without regard for their race, nationality, or religious affiliation -- a week away from home and the difficulties they endure. The clambake is just one way that the Friends of Sunset Point Camp ensure that the tradition continues.

To learn more about all the wonderful spring events in support of Catholic Charities, visit our website at www.ccab.org.

Debbie Rambo, LICSW, is the president of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston.

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