Catholic Charities E-News
Serving Southwest Florida 
In This Issue
Silver Anniversary
Christmas Cheer
Knights Mend Fence
Holiday Party
Board Member Appreciation
Making Cookies
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 Winter 2014



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 Event Season


Please join us for a Catholic Charities Event near you! Click on a link below for more information. 
Event enjoys rich history of serving the poor

Phil Delaney (left to right), Sharon and Dr. Michael Crosby at the Catholic Charities Ball Patron Party.
John and Julie Flaherty (left to right), and Gina and Ric Gregoria also in attendance.

Sarasota--The Catholic Charities Ball will celebrate its 25th Anniversary on January 25 at the Ritz-Carlton. Sponsors of the event were treated to a Patron Party on the top floor of the Northern Trust Bank. This year's gala will be an opportunity to celebrate 25 years of providing necessary funding to Catholic Charities programs and services that benefit those who are in need in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Proceeds from the fundraiser have provided quality assistance to families and individuals who come Catholic Charities in crisis hoping to find a better way to live. 
For more information about the 25th Anniversary Catholic Charities Ball, please call 941-355-4680, ext. 311 or click HERE.


Christmas spirit provides help all year long

Christmas Cheer Hostesses Jacqueline Kelly (left to right), Diana Kelly-Buchanan, Vicki Doyle, Jane Norton, and Cindy Mercurio. 

Easton (left to right) and Kim Underdahl collected and organized all the donated items. 

Sarasota--There was enough Christmas spirit again this year to provide Catholic Charities of DeSoto County with a supply of personal care items for an entire year to dispense to the needy of Arcadia and the surrounding areas.

The annual Christmas Cheer party is hosted by Jacqueline Kelly, Jane Norton, Vicki Doyle, Diana Kelly-Buchanan, and Cindy Mercurio and more than 100 women attended with donated items in hand.

Catholic Charities of DeSoto County provides the rural poor living in the community with food and clothing along with personal care items. Other services include prevention and support services, citizenship and family reunification, an after school program, and farm worker housing.

For more information about Catholic Charities of DeSoto County, please call 863-494-1068. 
Council restores fence for Catholic Charities programs
Knights of Columbus members Jim Cooper (foreground) and Chris Dibert repair the fence. 
Sarasota--Members of the Our Lady of Victory Knights of Columbus Council graciously committed to overhauling the lengthy fence that borders both St. Martha's Early Learning Center of Catholic Charities and Bethesda House of Catholic Charities. The Knights spent many weekends clearing brush, cleaning, repairing, painting and replacing the fence. "It is something that we are proud of doing," said Michael Deering who coordinated the project. "It is a great opportunity to show what the Knights of Columbus are all about."    
After school program treats students to holiday party


After School Reading Program Director Bill Iwanicki played the piano for students and their parents.  

Fort Myers--AFCAAM of Catholic Charities held the 5th annual Christmas Giving Celebration where 175 children and parents enjoyed a turkey dinner.

After School Reading Program Director Bill Iwanikci played the piano as the students sang to their parents. Christmas gifts were provided to all in attendance and were donated by members of St. Francis and St. Cecilia parishes. The After School Reading Program has 88 students enrolled at two locations with about 40 adult volunteers tutors and 25 student volunteer tutors from Bishop Verot High School.

For more information, please call AFCAAM of Catholic Charities at 239-461-0233. 

Long-time members recognized for years of service   

Catholic Charities CEO Peter Routsis-Arroyo (left to right), Bishop Frank Dewane, Diane Kunkler, Manuel Chepote, Mary Pat McNally, and Board Chair Lew Schmidt. 
Venice--Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. recognized three board of director members for their dedication at the December meeting. Diane Kunkler, Manuel Chepote and Mary Pat McNally all retired their positions on the board after years of service to Catholic Charities. McNally and Kunkler both provided six years of membership on the board and Chepote served for three years. Catholic Charities has a very active board of directors and is grateful to the valuable time and talent each member offers to the organization.  

Cookies offer Christmas fun with a bit of learning  


Sarasota--The preschool students at St. Martha's Early Learning Center combined a lesson in science with some Christmas magic.

The youngsters took on the task of making Christmas cookies from scratch for their families and friends while learning how to measure and combine ingredients along with baking.

The special cookies were sent home with the students to share with their loved ones for Christmas. Volunteers at the preschool also were gifted the cookies at a party with the students. The secret ingredient was of course much love.
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc.
serves the ten-county area of Southwest Florida.