2015 Catholic Charities Gala

Catholic Charities Gala 2015 will be held April 25, at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa Hotel, Ponte Vedra, from 6:30 to 11 p.m. This event serves as one of the primary fundraisers for Catholic Charities Jacksonville Regional Office with proceeds assisting the agency in reaching out to the community with emergency assistance.

ccblogo1In celebration of the event’s 22nd year, a special evening awaits our guests beginning with a cocktail reception and silent auction, raffle, a seated dinner and dancing. The theme this year is the Kentucky Derby.

“People get very dressed up with Kentucky Derby style hats and bow ties,” said Kerry Warren, of Catholic Charities Jacksonville. “In the past we have done other themes including basketball and so this is the first year we have done the Kentucky Derby.”  In keeping with the Kentucky Derby theme, the gala will including Kentucky bourbon tasting and a Kentucky Derby hat contest, Warren added.

Local philanthropist Ernie Bono, chairman of Baptist Medical Center Beaches and member, Our Lady Star of the Sea, is the featured speaker. Bono is active in a number of local and Catholic causes, including the St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, serving the state of Florida. Bono is also a motivational speaker and author of, “There Are No Shortcuts: Enjoying the Balance of Faith, Family and Career.”

Bono is a retired executive of the Prudential Insurance Company and has been a member of the Baptist Beaches Board of Directors for the past eight years. A native of Philadelphia, he previously served as a past president of the General Agents and Managers Conference (Tri-County) and a past member of the Board of Directors for the Crime Prevention Association of Philadelphia. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation and for Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities Jacksonville provides seven major programs, including Emergency Assistance. They are the largest private provider of emergency financial assistance in our community.

The goal of the agency is to prevent homelessness by heling families who are facing eviction or loss of utilities due to a recent financial crisis. Short term assistance with rent, mortgage, utilities and food is provided. All proceeds raised from the Gala of Giving supports this program and last year, 19,866 individuals were helped through the Emergency Assistance program; distributed more 50,544 meals to those in need in the community.

The Charities Gala Event in its 22nd year, with some 540 guests attending last year, raising more $240,000. The raffle this year features a trip to San Francisco wine country.

Tickets are $150 for individuals and $100 for those under 35. Sponsorships are still available and rant from $2,500 to $25,000. Please call Kerry Warren at (904) 224-0062.