Gala supports efforts of Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Trenton recently celebrated the kickoff of its Monmouth County annual fundraiser, the “Ray of Hope Gala,” at the Colts Neck home of Valerie and Tom DeFelice.

Co-chairing this year’s event are Mary Ellen Burris and Maureen Donnelly, both of Middletown, and Barbara Fleming of Spring Lake is vice chair. The “Ray of Hope Gala” will be held on April 24 at the Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club, Farmingdale. Music will be provided by Mission Dance, which has a repertoire from the 1960s to the 1990s.

According to a press release, the gala has become one of the premier fundraising events for Catholic Charities and supports a number of Monmouth County causes.

Among the many people attending the kickoff session were committee chairs, past gala chairs, committee members, community leaders, Diocese of Trenton Catholic Charities board members, and gala sponsors who have time and again pledged their support.

Tom DeFelice, president of Circle BMW in Eatontown and one of the founding sponsors of the annual gala, has once again pledged as an event premier sponsor for the gala. Scott Garley of Gibbons PC has also pledged again as an event premier sponsor.

Committee members include Bob Powderly of Middletown and Peter Griffin of Colts Neck, who will continue to lend their expertise to the sponsorship committee, while Jay and Mary Fran Wilder of Middletown will handle the raffle campaign for the event again this year.

Guests at the kickoff viewed a short presentation highlighting the charitable works of Catholic Charities in local communities. Bob Hodnett, associate director of Children and Family Services for Catholic Charities, spoke briefly about the importance of the gala in helping to fund the programs under his direction.

According to the press release, Catholic Charities programs strive to improve the quality of life for people in Monmouth County. Proceeds of the annual “Ray of Hope Gala” are directed exclusively to programs in Monmouth County, with last year’s event raising more than $92,000.

“With so many more people in need at this time, the success of this year’s gala is more critical than ever,” Donnelly said.

Burris suggested that “those wishing to volunteer or lend their support can make a difference in our local communities.”

For more information about the gala or to become a sponsor, contact the gala office at 732-747-9660, ext 116.