In This Issue
Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List
FALL 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.  

Your Gift at Work


The 13th Annual Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal is underway and needs your support! The Christmas Appeal takes place now through January 2015. This year's goal is to raise $525,000.


The Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal is our largest annual fundraiser and critical to operating our social service organization. Your gifts provide funding for the many Catholic Charities programs and services available throughout Southwest Florida. Your generosity enables us to serve those seeking help all year long.

Show of Shows
2014 Sugar Bowl Show of Shows Committee
Brian Gurl
Venice--The 7th Annual Sugar Bowl Show of Shows was held November 2 at the Venice Community Center with 735 people in attendance. The event featured Brian Gurl and the All American Band performing "A Tribute to the American Masters of Music".

The show was sponsored by Catholic
Charities and the Knights of Columbus Councils located in Venice, Osprey, North Port, Englewood and Grove City. The Show of Shows benefits the Sugar Bowl Fund which provides assistance to local families that suffer a financial hardship and are at risk of becoming homeless. This year, more than $32,500 was raised for the fund! 
Refugee Experience  
Yuri Kaplun (center) of Catholic Charities
Florida Gulf Coast University Forum
Fort Myers--Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program Coordinator Yuri Kaplun participated in the "Florida Gulf Coast United: An Evening on the Refugee Experience" panel discussion held recently at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). The event was part of the "One Book, One Campus" reading project.

The forum focused on the themes related to this year's book selection "Outcasts United" a true story about a youth soccer team made up of refugees whose families resettled in a small Georgia town. Other panelists included Harry Casimir, a FGCU alumnus who was born in Haiti; Salim Ayubi, a U.S. State Department-sponsored student from Pakistan attending FGCU; and Hiram Ruiz, Refugee Services Director for the State of Florida.
Community Gifts
Sarasota--Catholic Charities recently was the recipient of funding from two community foundations.

One of 12 organizations, Catholic Charities received a one-time gift of $25,000 from the Patterson Foundation in appreciation for past efforts to disburse Season of Sharing funds to individuals and families in financial crisis. A grant of $80,355.06 was awarded by the Noreen A. Stephens Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County for services that provide assistance and education to migrant farm workers and refugees.

"Catholic Charities and the greater community are very fortunate to have the support of these two wonderful foundations that help us to help others in need," said Peter Routsis-Arroyo, CEO of Catholic Charities. "We also are very grateful for the donation from the Noreen A. Stephens Fund which will allow us to continue to serve farm workers and refugees who struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis." 
Homeless to Home  
Mark Pritchett (left) and Jon Thaxton of the
Gulf Coast Community Foundation

Luncheon hostesses Jacquie Crombie (left to right), Janine Marrone, and Kathie Majerchin
North Port--The first of a series of monthly luncheons called "Homeless to Home" was hosted by Catholic Charities at the Heron Creek Country Club and funded by Steve and Janine Marrone. The event was a networking opportunity for businesses, local  government employees, and nonprofit agencies who are concerned about the issue of homelessness to connect and share ideas. A total of 71 people attended from 31 organizations or businesses.

Mark Pritchett and Jon Thaxton of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation were the guest speakers. They provided an update on the progress of the homeless initiative in Sarasota County based on the 12 recommendations of expert Dr. Robert Marbut.

"We discovered our strengths were in our agencies who are already addressing this problem," Pritchett said. "The role of our foundation is to coordinate these strengths and knit together a safety blanket for homeless individuals, children and families in our community."

The next Homeless to Home luncheon will be held November 14. For more information, call Catholic Charities at 941-355-4680.
Open House
Youth Mentoring Program students
Youth Mentoring Director Veronica Barber (center) with Officer Fuller and Officer Dominique of the Fort Myers Police Department
Fort Myers--AFCAAM of Catholic Charities held an open house for the community to showcase the center's After School Reading Program and Youth Mentoring Programs.

Supporters from community groups, area Catholic parishes, the Fort Myers Police Department, partner social service and government agencies, and volunteers attended the event along with the teens and children enrolled in the programs. The youth showed off various projects they are engaged in at the AFCAAM Center.

AFCAAM of Catholic Charities is committed to educating at-risk youth by encouraging and inspiring them to be life-long learners, people of service, and community builders. For more information, please call 239-461-0233.  
Fundraising Workshop
Boots and Bandannas committee members Clara Alvarez (left to right), Andy Herigodt and Dora Morales
Suzanne Seiter
Venice--Suzanne Seiter, a certified fundraising executive, spent a day with Catholic Charities staff and volunteers providing expertise on how to make the most out of a special event. About 30 people attended the workshop which was held at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat and Spirituality Center.

Catholic Charities hosts nine fundraising events throughout Southwest Florida during November through April and last year raised over $1.2 million. Seiter discussed how Catholic Charities can bring its mission to each fundraiser along with other topics such as taking an event to the next level and how to continue the relationship with attendees after the event.

Upcoming events include:
  • Catholic Charities Ball on January 31 in Sarasota
  • Venetian Charity Ball on February 14 in Bonita Springs
  • Venice Veterans Gala on February 15 in Venice
  • Mardi Gras Madness on February 17 in Sarasota
  • Wine Tasting on February 26 in Venice
  • Emerald Ball on March 14 in Naples
  • Boots and Bandannas on March 21 in Port Charlotte
  • Charity Golf Classic on April 10 in Fort Myers

Click HERE for more event information and tickets. 

How You Can Help
Your support helps us to provide our clients with quality programs and services. We appreciate any assistance you can give!

Guadalupe Social Services of Catholic Charities
Call Tricia at 239-657-6242
Provide monetary donations for Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets for over 1,000 needy families.

Family Resource Center of Catholic Charities
Call Allegra at 239-793-0059
Volunteer for the food pantry on Friday mornings to help pack bags, sort food, stock shelves, and with light housekeeping.

Casa San Jose of Catholic Charities
Call Kevin at 941-366-1886
Donate a new or gently used TV for a resident of this special needs housing community.

Our Mother's House of Catholic Charities
Call Rita at 941-485-6264
Adopt a family at Our Mother's House for Christmas by purchasing the gifts on their wish list.


1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285

Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved.