Catholic Charities E-News
Serving Southwest Florida 
In This Issue
Show of Shows
Youth Answers the Call
USDA Under Secretary Visits
Save the Date!
Christmas Extravaganza
First Time Home Buyer Class
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 Fall 2012
Greetings!  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.

Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal    

The 11th Annual Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal will take place during December 2012 and January 2013 and needs your support to provide assistance to the most vulnerable persons in your community.

Your gift to the Christmas Appeal results in a better way of life for the families and individuals who come to Catholic Charities seeking help to overcome their crisis. Catholic Charities is grateful for your generosity and compassion!

Click HERE to donate.

Show of Shows benefits needy families

Venice--The 5th Annual Sugar Bowl Show of Shows will be held this Sunday, November 4 at 2 p.m. at the Venice Community Center located at 326 Nokomis Avenue South. The show will feature Entertainer and Singer Jimmy Mazz and the Al Hixon Jazz Group. 


Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. and the five Knights of Columbus Councils in Venice, Englewood, North Port, and Grove City sponsor the event that benefits the Sugar Bowl Fund. The fund helps local families that suffer an economic hardship because of an emergency medical, housing or transportation expense. Needy families are given one-time assistance to overcome their crisis.


Requests for help have increased over the past few years due to the difficult local economy. In 2011, 50 families with 126 children living in Venice, North Port, Englewood, and Grove City were assisted with more than $25,000.


Tickets are $20 a person and available at the door the day of the event. 


Youth answers the call to help during emergencies      


Johann Bertram, 12-years-old, is a member of the Disaster Amateur Radio Network of Catholic Charities.


Holmes Beach--His call sign is KK4KOS. He is a member of the Disaster Amateur Radio Network (DARN) of Catholic Charities, which provides emergency back-up communications for disaster response teams. He holds a Technician Class License for amateur radio operations. And, he is 12-years-old.


"I got interested in HAM radio at the thought of talking with people from all around the world," said Johann Christian Bertram. "I received my Technician Class License in July and I am now studying for my General Class License, so I can use all shortwave HAM radio bands for international contacts."


Johann is a seventh grade student at King Middle School in Bradenton and a member of St. Bernard Parish in Holmes Beach, where he attends the youth group.


Read more... 


USDA official visits Catholic Charities program     

USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon plays ball with a young student at St. Martha's Early Learning Center of Catholic Charities. 


Sarasota--United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary Kevin Concannon stood on the playground of St. Martha's Early Learning Center of Catholic Charities and watched the preschool children run circles around him and squeal with glee.


"This is a treat," Concannon said. "It is like coming home."


Concannon is the Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services for the USDA. He stopped by the Catholic Charities program because it receives daily hot meals through the Child and Adult Care Food Program. However, the familiarity of the visit was a reminder of how he began his distinguished career as a social worker.


"I started my work at a Catholic Charities program in Maine," Concannon said. "I worked there for seven years. I was asked to work in public service after that and have been there ever since."


Read more... 


Fundraising season is underway    

Save the date for the upcoming Catholic Charities fund raisers. Our programs and services depend on the success of our events. It is an opportunity to have a good time while doing good for others!


  • Venice ~ Sugar Bowl Show of Shows on Sunday, November 4 at 2 p.m. at the Venice Community Center.
  • Sarasota ~ Catholic Charities Ball on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 6 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton.
  • Naples ~ Catholic Charities of Collier County 45th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 6 p.m. at St. John the Evangelist Parish. 
  • Sarasota ~ Bethesda House Mardi Gras Madness on Fat Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 6 p.m. at the Sarasota Yacht Club.
  • Naples ~ Casino Night on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 6 p.m. at Mercedes Benz of Naples.
  • Venice ~ Our Mother's House Wine Tasting, Auction, and Dinner Dance on Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 6 p.m. at the Plantation Golf and County Club.
  •  Fort Myers ~ Venetian Charity Ball on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa.
  • Lake Suzy ~ Boots and Bandannas Dinner Dance on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 6 p.m. at the Kingsway Country Club.
  • Naples ~ Emerald Ball on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at the Ritz-Carlton.
  • Fort Myers ~ AFCAAM Golf  Tournament on Friday, April 12, 2013 at Forest Country Club. 

Click HERE for more information on all of these events.  


"Illuminated" Christmas concert supports programs

Paul Todd and Paul Todd Jr. 

Naples--Paul Todd's Illuminated The Music of the Lights event will take place on December 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Barbara Mann theater and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Catholic Charities of Collier County.

The unique Christmas concert will feature Paul Todd and Paul Todd Jr. along with Jeff Ramsey, Christie Cole, Amy Van Wyk, Todd Peterson and the Barron Collier Choir. During the event, 1,500 lights will be held by the audience, moving in sequence to the vibrations of the music. The music consists of orchestral percussive arrangements of favorite and original Christmas carols. The lights in the audience and on stage will offer a light show moving with every note of the music performed.

Catholic Charities of Collier County provides food pantries, refugee services, mental health counseling, financial assistance, citizenship services, and special efforts such as Undy Sunday, Weekend Power Pack Food Program, and Holiday Food and Gift Distribution.

Ticket prices start at $25 and go up to $100. All tickets must be purchased by contacting Catholic Charities of Collier County by phone at 239-455-2655 or by email at


Free monthly seminar sets schedule for another year      


Bradenton--Catholic Charities of Manatee County hosts the free First Time Home Buyer Class one Saturday each month for new home buyers seeking the Certificate of Completion that affords them down payment and closing costs, bond, or grant monies in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. This heavily attended class is offered in both English and Spanish on alternating months and will continue through the year 2013.    


Four topics are covered in the class: "Steps To Successful Home Ownership" which includes funds available to first time home buyers as well as fair housing rights; "Winning Credit History/Shopping for a Loan" which includes items required to make a loan contract, budget and money management, and the loan and application process; "Shopping for a Home/Choosing a Realtor" which includes what to know when looking for a home and realtor, understanding a sales contract, and negotiation and home inspection; and "Home Ownership" which includes what it means to be a home owner, how to care for your home and maintain it, security issues and avoiding foreclosure.   


All classes are held on Saturdays at the Bradenton Central Public Library  located at 1301 Barcarrota Blvd. West. Classes begin at 8:30 a.m. and finish at 4:30 p.m. Anyone interested in attending must pre-register by calling Catholic Charities at 941-714-7829 extension 302 for the Spanish class and extension 307 for the English class.  


Upcoming classes include:

  • November 17, 2012 ~ English
  • December 15, 2012 ~ Spanish
  • January 19, 2013 ~ English
  • February 16, 2013 ~ Spanish  



Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. serves the ten-county area of Southwest Florida.