In This Issue
Quick Links

FALL 2015


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 14th Annual Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal is underway and needs your support! The Christmas Appeal takes place now through January 2016. This year's goal is to raise $550,000.
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.


Successful Show   
Catholic Charities CEO Peter Routsis-Arroyo (left to right), Master of Ceremonies Jim Palermo, Bishop Frank Dewane, Ed Farrell and Event Chair Dick Maier at the 2015 Show of Shows.

Venice--The 2015 Sugar Bowl Show of Shows took place at the new Venice Performing Arts Center and featured the "Back 2 Back" entertainment of Elton John and Billy Joel tribute bands. About 1,000 people attended the fundraiser for the Sugar Bowl Fund that assists local families experiencing an economic difficulty.

More than $28,000 was raised for the fund according to Show of Shows Event Chair Dick Maier. "The committee worked hard this year to provide our patrons with a great show and great experience," Maier said. "Thanks to our sponsors and advertisers, the expenses were fully paid and all ticket sales will go to aid local, low-income families in a financial crisis."

The Sugar Bowl Fund is a partnership between the Knights of Columbus in Venice, Osprey, North Port, Englewood, and Grove City and Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. This year's event was the 8th Annual Show of Shows and saw record attendance. "This year's show in all respects was a huge success," Maier said.

Thank you to everyone who attended the show! 
The 2015 Sugar Bowl Show of Shows Committee.

Outreach for Homeless

Sarasota County--Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. received an ESO (Engaging - System Centric - Outcomes) Award, a one-time gift of $20,000 from The Patterson Foundation. The award, which was presented to Catholic Charities for exhibiting outstanding participation and commitment in The Patterson Foundation's Recoding Organizational DNA initiative, will aid the agency's work toward outreach for homeless families and children in Sarasota County. The Patterson Foundation has asked Catholic Charities to update the community on their progress through their impact blog.


Traveling Theater

Fort Myers--The Florida Repertory Children's Theater Series visited AFCAAM of Catholic Charities and treated the After School Reading Program students to an exciting performance of "A Year With Frog and Toad." The play was preceded by a two-week thematic study of the popular children's chapter books Frog and Toad.

Over the past few years, the Florida Rep has presented shows for children on topics such as bullying, cultural awareness, stereotyping, science, Holocaust studies and American history. Each performance is accompanied by a study guide and a talk back session with the performers after the show.

"We received donations to enable us to bring this wonderful enrichment activity to children who would otherwise never attend theater," said Program Director Pam Malafrontre. "They truly enjoyed the experience."

If you are interested contributing to the cost of children's theater performances, please contact Pam at 239-461-0233 or

Raise a Hand

To raise awareness about poverty in America, Catholic Charities USA is leading a national movement called #End45. There are 45 million people living in poverty in the U.S. today. As a Catholic Charities agency, we have learned that poverty does not discriminate. It can often take just one misfortune or one missed paycheck to change an individual or family's life. Watch these powerful videos to learn how many have overcome hardship through their own perseverance and with the support of the Catholic Charities agency network.

Grant for Family Haven

North Port--The Catholic Charities Family Haven is an emergency shelter for families with children who are homeless and do not otherwise have a place to stay. The program received a grant from Jane's Trust for $125,000 for the acquisition and renovation of a transitional home for homeless families.

Catholic Charities Family Haven offers temporary shelter services for about a week. Families receive case management services to assist them with the goal of becoming permanently housed. With the grant, Catholic Charities purchased a home in Venice where a family can reside up to six months.

"The grant from Jane's Trust has been instrumental in helping provide transitional living for our families that need just a little more time during their journey from homelessness to becoming permanently housed," said Program Director Cynthia Townsend. "Having support by way of case management and temporary housing allows an opportunity for clients to become gainfully employed, find safe and affordable housing, and move forward positively in life."

For more information about the Catholic Charities Family Haven contact Cynthia at 941-564-8637 or

New Sugar Bowl Fund 

Bradenton--The St. Joseph Council 5604 of the Knights of Columbus are hosting a fundraiser to start up a Sugar Bowl Fund in Manatee County. The event is called A Knight of Rock and will be held Saturday, January 23 at 4 p.m. at the Mixon Fruit Farm. The concert will feature two bands, headliners Survivors of Rock and Goodbye Eddie.

The first Sugar Bowl Fund was established in 1999 by five Knights of Councils in Venice, Englewood, North Port and Grove City along with Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. to assist local families that suffer an economic hardship because of an emergency medical, housing or transportation expense. Proceeds from A Knight of Rock will help families in Bradenton through a new Sugar Bowl Fund.

"Supporting families in a time of need to help them overcome a temporary financial difficulty and stay together is what the Sugar Bowl Fund is all about," said Catholic Charities CEO Peter Routsis-Arroyo. "With the help of the Knights of Columbus, we are excited to be able to start this program in Manatee County."

Sponsorship opportunities are available for A Knight of Rock. Tickets are $10 a person. For information contact Richard Audette at 941-773-1061 or