Catholic Charities gets boost from 11th Gala of the Arts
Hand-blown glass artist James Wilbat, of Deerfield, and wife Cara with Wilbat’s original creation “Carmen Miranda.” | Lee A. Litas~Sun-Times Media
Charities of the
721 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago. Lake County: 671 S. Lewis, Waukegan.
(312) 655-7912 or (847) 782-4000, www.catholiccharities.net
Updated: October 3, 2012 11:03AM
The event: Art not only imitated life, it helped support it at the 11th Gala of the Arts, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s annual fundraiser held inside Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom on September 7.
More than 450 attendees got to bid from a kaleidoscopic display of paintings, drawings, portraits, landscapes, blown glass wares, photography and artisan jewelry, all donated by more than 30 local and regional artists for the benefit.
Each year, the event helps to fund Catholic Charities’ ongoing emergency assistance programs. Routed through their “311” call center, these programs effectively provide food, shelter, clothing and supportive services for people in crisis in Cook and Lake counties.
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago is one of the largest private, not-for-profit social service agencies in the Midwest, annually assisting more than one million people since 1917.
Cause célèbre: “The Gala makes a substantial difference in the lives of more than 160,000 individuals and families (via its) eight service centers,” said Monsignor Michael M. Boland, Administrator, President and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Gala co-chairman Jeanne Hardy stressed this point, saying: “We are about Emergency Services to help our clients who are in terrible need right now,” she said.
The 311 assistance programs are Chicago’s ‘best kept secret,’ according to former GOA co-chairmen (2006-2007) Mary Armato. “If people understood how much of the charitable work done in Chicago is actually done by Catholic Charities and its army of volunteers, they would be very surprised. It has probably touched every family in the city,” she said.
Supporter Anita Worthington had attended the benefit since 2001. “I think it’s very important that Catholic Charities get recognized for all the good they do,” she said.
Bottom line: Proceeds from the fundraiser went to benefit Catholic Charities’ ongoing emergency assistance programs.