The 2014 Catholic Charities Gala, which was held April 26th at the Raleigh Marriott City Center, raised $190,000. The record-breaking amount is more than double what any single gala raised in previous years. Proceeds from the event will be used to serve those in need in 54 counties in eastern North Carolina.

This year’s gala saw changes in format and a switch to formal attire. A silent auction was also added. Organizers noted that, while those changes certainly played a role, it was the generosity of donors that made 2014 a banner year.

The North Carolina Youth Philharmonic, which performed for guests, set a joyous tone for the event. Mr. Gary Skinner, executive director of Catholic Charities, welcomed guests and informed them of services provided by Catholic Charities, including reaching out to those affected by tornadoes in Beaufort and Chowan Counties the morning of the Gala. Bishop Michael F. Burbidge also welcomed those in attendance and announced that the City of Raleigh had selected Catholic Charities to coordinate the weekend feeding of the poor in downtown Raleigh.

Sports radio host David Glenn introduced Duke football coach David Cutcliffe with humorous and inspiring personal stories about the coach’s career. Mr. Glenn noted that for all of Mr. Cutcliffe’s accolades as a coach, which included Coach of the Year, none of them compared to his moral presence as a human being.

Coach Cutcliffe spoke about perseverance and the idea that “perfect practice makes permanent.” He said that Catholic Charities, which served 63,000 individuals last year, is a shining example of staff and volunteers working together to achieve a goal. He added that the constant pursuit of excellence in its field is what allows Catholic Charities to continue to serve others well.

Next year’s gala is scheduled for April 25, 2015.