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We invite you to take a few minutes to learn more about the work of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. If you have any questions, reply and let us know. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your colleagues, friends and family.  

Venetian Charity Ball 
Nick and Patti Maurillo were presented the
Frank Galeana Sr. Humanitarian Award. 

Fort Myers--About 450 people attended the 2017 Venetian Charity Ball at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point for an evening of coc ktails, silent and li ve auctions, a raffle for a new KIA Optima,  dinner, and dancing to the Paul Vesco Orchestra. Lois Thome  from WINK News was the Mistress of Ceremonies and Nick and Patti Maurillo were presented the Frank Galeana Sr. Humanitarian Award for their devotion and service to Catholic Charities. Proceeds from the event benefited the programs and services of Catholic Charities in Lee, Hendry and Glades counties.Thank you to the patrons who attended the gala!

Treat Your Mom

Naples--A special Mother's Day Dinner and Show, starring Paul Todd and Paul Todd Jr., will happen on Saturday, May 13 at 6 p.m. at the Wyndemere Country Club. The event will benefit the Judy Sullivan Family Resource Center of Catholic Charities. 

The Catholic Charities center serves the working poor of the greater Naples area with programs and services that help individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency. Some of these include the Empowerment Program, Choice Food Pantry, and the Weekend Power Pack Program for hungry school children.

The evening will include cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner at 6:45 p.m. followed by the show. The cost is $60 per person and tables for eight and 10 people are available. For reservations, call Lynn at 239-370-7872 or Monica at 239-470-2035
Ribbon Cutting

Port Charlotte--The New Paradigm Foundation is now under the auspices of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. The program provides affordable transitional housing in Englewood and Port Charlotte to area families who are at risk of becoming homeless. In observance of the merger, a ribbon cutting and blessing ceremony was held in front of one of the 15 units of housing available for families. The program is now called New Paradigm of Catholic Charities. In addition to transitional housing, the two-year program is designed to help families develop the skills necessary to live an independent life through financial training, credit repair services, counseling, and parenting classes. For information, call 941-681-2194.
Easter Egg Hunt

Arcadia--Students attending the After School Program at Casa San Juan Bosco of Catholic Charities were awarded an Easter Egg Party and Hunt for achieving improved reading skills. The celebration included the children searching for 400 eggs, building their own banana splits, and watching a movie. Casa San Juan Bosco is a community that provides quality and affordable homes to area farm workers and their families. Catholic
Charities also offers educational enrichment services to the children and adults who live there. For information, call 863-494-1068.

Charity Golf Classic 

Fort Myers-- The 2017 Charity Golf Classic for AFCAAM of Catholic Charities was held at the Forest Country Club. A total of 168 golfers participated in the fundraiser for the services available at the center which include the After-School Reading Program, and the SKILLS Female Mentoring and Straight Talk Male Mentoring programs. Two students from the mentoring program also played in the tournament. Golfers received a shoe bag filled with goodies and the fun-filled day included a silent auction, dinner, and prizes. Thank you to everyone who came out to play!

Mother's Day Appeal

Venice--Give the gift of a mother's love. Honor your mother this Mother's Day with a gift that will help homeless mothers and their children. Our Mother's House of Catholic Charities provides a safe environment for residents to achieve increased self-sufficiency through education, vocational training, and personal growth. A mother's love can change the world .You can help a mother in need succeed! For information, call 941-485-6264.

English School

Immokalee--Guadalupe Social Services of Catholic Charities offers instruction to women who need to learn conversational English. The program caters to women who typically stay at home with their children. While their husbands learn English at work and their children in school, these women yearn to be on the same level. They recognize that the ability to communicate in English is a gateway to success in the United States. The English School has 15 students enrolled who faithfully attend class Monday through Friday for 90 minutes each day. They are learning the skills to communicate with their children's teachers, doctors, emergency personnel, and so much more. If you educate the mother, you educate the whole family! For information, call 239-657-6242.

Fish Fry

Fort Myers--Clients of Catholic Charities were treated to a Mass and fish dinner at Bishop Verot High School as part of the conclusion of a two-year, school-wide aquaponics project.  In response to Pope Francis' reminder to care for the earth, the aquaponics project was a form of gardening that grows plants without soil by drawing nutrients from tanks of fish to convert to fertilizer. When the project was completed and a bountiful crop of flowers, vegetables and herbs was realized, the fish were used to feed those in need.  Catholic Charities clients also received care packages to take home. Thank you Bishop Verot!

Lemonade Stand

Venice--Staff at Our Mother's House of Catholic Charities were speechless when six-year-old Will Pierre accompanied by his family showed up at the door with an envelope in his hand. He held the proceeds from a lemonade stand he organized at Fox Furniture on behalf of the program.  Program Director Joyce Scott was surprised to accept the donation of more than $1,200. Our Mother's House serves homeless mothers and children with shelter and guidance. Will, we are grateful for your support! For information, call 941-485-6264.

Reading Program

Fort Myers--The After-School Reading Program at AFCAAM of Catholic Charities hosted a volunteer appreciation luncheon that featured handmade cards from the students and teachers. Volunteers also enjoyed an Italian meal and some received Catholic Charities pins for milestone service hours given to the program. We commend your gift of time to Catholic Charities!

Fred Mayer of Musical Elegance and Warren and Greg Vankirk of Strange Arrangement also volunteered their time at the center with a musical presentation. The kindergarten through fifth-grade students learned vocabulary words pertaining to instruments such as "strings" and "frets" prior to the performance. The students were allowed to hold and play the instruments as well. The After-School Reading Program provides reading instruction to at-risk students.  For information, call 239-461-0233.

Baby Supplies

Immokalee--The Council of Catholic Women from Our Lady of Lourdes in Venice, St. Katharine Drexel in Cape Coral, and St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Parrish donated cribs and crib sheets to Guadalupe Social Services of Catholic Charities. The program serves the rural poor and migrant workers in Collier County with basic needs such as food, clothing, financial assistance, immigration services, English classes, and a crib and stroller program. We applaud your generous spirit!  For information, call 239-657-6242.
Radio Network

Venice--The annual meeting of the Bob Sullenberger Disaster Amateur Radio Network (DARN) was held at the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Hall with Florida Catholic Conference State Emergency Management Coordinator Gabe Tischler and over 20 volunteers present. DARN provides emergency/back-up communications for Catholic Charities Disaster Response Teams. The volunteer-based radio network assists relief workers through a group of UHF/VHF base radio stations located in Venice, Bradenton, Naples, Fort Myers, Arcadia, Port Charlotte and Sarasota. We recognize your valuable service!