Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh held its Third Annual Celebrate God’s Gifts Gala Saturday, April 27, 2013, at the Marriott Hotel in Raleigh. The event, hosted by the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, drew more than 300 people. The Gala serves as an annual fundraiser for the Diocesan agency. The highlight of the event is the presentation of the Bishop F. Joseph Gossman Community Service Award, named in honor of Bishop Emeritus Gossman.
The 2013 Award recipients are Ron and Jeanette Doggett, longtime benefactors of numerous charitable causes. They include support of such organizations as Catholic Parish Outreach, Habitat for Humanity, and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Due to their commitment and support of the Diocese, North Carolina State University Campus Ministry is named in their honor.
In a tribute video to the Doggetts, Mr. Peter Werbicki, President/CEO of Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, noted how his agency was providing some five million pounds of food each year to the counties it serves. With the help of Ron Doggett, who assumed a leadership role in a Food Bank campaign, the agency now provides fifty million pounds of food each year.
Former Governor Jim Hunt, also commenting in the video, commended Mr. and Mrs. Doggett for their concern for those in need. “We don’t have two finer citizens in North Carolina,” the Governor said. “They are wonderful leaders, because they are wonderful people. It’s one of the great joys of my life to be their friend.”
Bishop Burbidge spoke of how special Ron and Jeanette were to Bishop Gossman and now to him. “You are special to the Diocese of Raleigh, your family, and all those who know you and all who love you,” the Bishop said. “You are a source of inspiration to us, and you will always have our affection and prayers.”
Those attending the Gala heard a story, told by a woman: a single mother of two children, who was helped by Catholic Charities. Lateisha spoke of how the agency, funded in part by the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, came to her rescue during a critical time in her life.
In 2009, she became unemployed when the plant she had worked in for ten years closed due to an explosion. Without a job, she got sick with a heart condition, worsened by weakened kidneys. Evicted, she found herself and her daughters living out of her car. Help came through Catholic Charities and the Family Support Circle program. Today, she has her own house. Lateisha’s story is featured in one of this year’s BAA videos. (See video.)
The evening concluded with the announcement by Bishop Burbidge of the appointment of Mr. Gary Skinner as the new Executive Director of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Raleigh. (Read the story on Mr. Skinner’s appointment.)
The Gala was emceed by Mr. Chris Hohmann, Chief Meteorologist at WTVD ABC-11, Raleigh-Durham.
Above: More than 300 attending the 2013 Celebrate God’s Gifts Gala held at the Marriott Hotel in Raleigh.
Above: Lateisha telling the gathering how Catholic Charities came to her aid in a time of crisis for her and her two daughters.
Above: Ron and Jeanette Doggett, recipients of the 2013 Bishop F. Joseph Gossman Community Service Award presented by Catholic Charities.