In 2012, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach celebrated its successful Inaugural Caritas Dei Bishop’s Gala, a new event that benefitted Catholic Charities' programs. More than 250 people attended the event held recently at The Breakers in Palm Beach.
Caritas Dei was chosen as the event’s name because in Latin it means “love of God.” Sheila Gomez, Executive Director of Catholic Charities, explains that with a mission to serve persons in need who are living within the five counties of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Caritas Dei is a perfect title for the Catholic Charities event.
“Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach provides quality programs that help the poor and most vulnerable regardless of religious affiliation. The Inaugural Caritas Dei Bishop’s Gala is a caring way to show the love of God to a child with no opportunities, a senior left alone, or a family who needs help to overcome challenges and make it in these difficult times.”
The evening included a silent auction of 160 baskets containing an array of donated items valued at $46,000 as well as a live auction conducted by Dan Meister, CMP, Principal of Charities Dynamics and Auctions. Additionally, a raffle was held in which ticket winners won either a five-night generational family vacation at South Seas Resort Captiva, or a 2011-2012 Palm Beach Symphony Membership for two or a Hidalgo Diamond Watch. Caritas Dei Gala guests filled the dance floor throughout the night dancing to the musical entertainment provided by The Fusion Machine Swing Band.
Serving as the Caritas Dei Gala Chairmen were Marietta and Dale McNulty of West Palm Beach and Suzanne and Frank Maurno of North Palm Beach. Juan Carlos Fanjul, anchor for CBS12 News, served as the Master of Ceremony.
During the evening, Catholic Charities proudly honored three local residents for their consistent support of Catholic Charities values and for their contribution to the work of Catholic Charities. The honorees included:
To celebrate the kickoff of the Inaugural Caritas Dei Bishop’s Gala, in December Wally Findlay Galleries in Palm Beach hosted a pre-event cocktail reception showcasing its exhibit “Madonna and Child.” The exhibition consists of more than 20 religious works of art dating from the 16th century to contemporary. A highlight of the exhibition was a life-size bronze of MICHELANGELO’S PIETA, which recently completely a three-year tour of the United States. Wally Findlay Galleries is also one of the sponsors of the Inaugural Caritas Dei Bishop’s Gala.