4/4/2011 4:38:00 PM Raising money to help those in need
Catholic Sentinel photo by Gerry Lewin
Mary Clark, center, and Gerry Frank, her guest of honor, together with the celebrants of the Annual Catholic Cherities event are amused by remarks of Archbishop John Vlazny whose image is projected on a video screen.
Natt and Karen McDougall, celebration chairs, welcome the crowd to the 2011 event.
The Catholic Charities 14th Annual Celebration presented by Providence Health and Services was held Saturday, April 2, at the Oregon Convention Center. Chairpersons Natt and Karen McDougall hosted the evening, along with Archbishop John Vlazny. Nearly 1,000 guests attended the event, which has become one of Oregon’s largest annual gatherings of the Catholic community.
The celebration is the only fundraising event for the Catholic Charities’ programs, which supported nearly 40,000 people last year, including homeless women; at-risk infants and children; pregnant teens; low-income people in need of affordable housing, victims of domestic violence and human trafficking; and low-income immigrants and refugees.
Catholic Charities executive director Dennis Keenan drew on chapter 10 in the Gospel of Luke, telling the audience, “By participating in this evening’s event, you act as a Good Samaritan to the individuals and families who have been left at the side of the road of life. You see them as your neighbors.”
Keenan recognized the supporters, staff and volunteers who placed their many and varied gifts into the Lord’s service to bring support to those in our community who are hurting.
The audience watched a 10-minute video produced by Catholic Charities staff that highlighted the experience of several clients. Following the moving video Karen McDougall inspired the audience to demonstrate the of love Jesus Christ, while Natt McDougall spoke of the generosity of Mark and Leslie Ganz and Regence who facilitated a matching gift challenge to attendees.
The event raised more than $700,000 in operating funds for the programs and services of Catholic Charities.