Catholic Charities celebrated its 11th Annual Gala with flair and style Saturday, April 29, 2023. The Gala was held at the beautiful Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley, which provided a perfect backdrop for the festivities. The record-breaking 350 attendees, including the greatest increase in new attendees in the history of the event, arrived in black-tie attire, ready for a night of celebration and fundraising. The atmosphere was electric, with a palpable sense of excitement and anticipation in the air, culminating in nearly $270,000 raised to support the work of Catholic Charities.

The event kicked off with a cocktail reception, where attendees mingled and chatted with one another while sipping on delicious drinks and nibbling on delectable hors d’oeuvres. The reception was the perfect opportunity for guests to connect with one another, make new friends, and catch up with old ones.

Following the cocktail reception, guests were treated to a gourmet dinner that was both delicious and beautifully presented. As the evening progressed, Board Member and WRAL anchor, Ken Smith, served as Master of Ceremony, introducing a series of speeches and video presentations that highlighted the important work that Catholic Charities accomplishes throughout Central and Eastern North Carolina. The speeches were both emotional and inspiring, leaving attendees feeling a deep sense of gratitude for the work that they support.

Sue Ann Glower, Chair of the Board of Directors shared that volunteering at the Durham Community Food Pantry was very special to her. “At its core, it is one small step I can take to help put a smile on someone’s face.” She continued, “I also appreciate the warm, welcoming environment that is fostered at the Durham Community Food Pantry, as well as at the four other Catholic Charities food pantries. It really does feel like a second family who I get to see each week.”

Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama in his remarks, asked guests to, “Think about the great gift that you are giving by being here. Through you, the people are able to discover and to see the face of Jesus. Because the faith of Jesus is love and it is charity. You see the great thing that all of you are doing, is serving the church. Faith in action. Thank you for your great generosity through your wonderful hearts. And thank you for making this evening joyful”.

Chief Executive Officer, Lisa Perkins shared, “We are intentional as we serve with the love and kindness that our Bishop exemplifies. We are the charitable outreach arm of the Diocese and the smile of the Diocese. Our ministry is being recognized and our leaders are being rewarded throughout central and eastern North Carolina and across the United States.” She continued, “Sometimes you have to show people that what they deem impossible can be achieved.”

Perkins added, “This fiscal year Catholic Charities opened and blessed two new beautiful offices with expanded warehouse capacity to serve the Cape Fear and Tar River Deaneries.  We know that with increased services and visibility we will garner the support we need to expand services throughout the Diocese. We have plans for eastern North Carolina and we are eager to enhance resources, partnerships, volunteerism, and services.”

Following dinner, guests danced, continued to socialize, and enjoyed each other’s company. Live music, provided by SNAP, was upbeat and drew guests to the dance floor, which was packed until the very last song with enthusiastic dancers. Outside of the ballroom, attendees tried their hand at the new and popular wine ring toss, or took time to capture a printed memento in the photo booth.

The gala fun continued with attendees competing for silent auction and raffle items which featured a wide range of amazing items, including an electric bicycle, exotic vacations, and one-of-a-kind experience packages.

The evening was a night to remember for all, filled with special moments, fun activities, and inspiring speeches. But perhaps most importantly, it was a testament to the commitment and dedication of everyone involved. The funds raised at the Gala will go a long way in supporting the work of Catholic Charities to provide help, create hope, and serve all.

To receive full resolution copies of any of the pictures below, please email with the file number. The file number can be found in the bottom left corner after clicking on the image.

To receive full resolution copies of any of the pictures below, please email with the file number. The file number can be found in the bottom left corner after clicking on the image.

Disaster Services

Immigration Legal Services

Food Pantry Services

2023 Gala Raffle


~1st Prize~

Wing Freedom Electric Bike

~2nd Prize~

Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0

~3rd Prize~

Meta Quest 2 Virtual Reality Set

Silent Auction


Alaska Fishing Trip for 2 to Bristol Bay

Generously Donated by:

Nugashak River Adventures Lodge


Pinehurst Golf Getaway + 2 Rounds of Golf

Generously Donated by:

Kerrie and Kevin Debbs


Five-Course Wine Cellar Dinner for 12

Generously Donated by:

The Angus Barn


Skin Sense Day Spa, Signature HydraFacial
and Himalayan Salt Cave Therapy

Generously Donated by:

Skin Sense Day Spa, Raleigh


Handmade Baskets of
Cotton and Driftwood

Generously Donated by:

Sally Burke

black background file

Local Art Featuring
Cary, NC

Generously Donated by:

Jane Wolfgang Art


Flight of Silver Oak
Cabernet Sauvignon

Generously Donated by:

Trish and John Healy


3-Night Stay at a Luxury Inspirato Hotel in
Deer Valley, New York City, Palmetto Bluff,
Santa Fe, and Other Destinations

Hosted by:

Inspirato for Good


7-Night Stay in a Luxury Inspirato Residence
in Grand Cayman, Los Cabos, Scottsdale, Tuscany,
and Other Destinations

Hosted by:

Inspirato for Good

These packages are inclusive of all nightly rates, taxes, and fees as well as expert pre-trip planning, on-site concierge, and daily housekeeping. 

You will have a year to make your reservation and two years to travel.  You will also receive a complimentary subscription to the Inspirato Club,

providing access to additional booking privileges, first class service, partner benefits and more. Vacations purchased are fully transferable.


2023 Gala Committee Members

Diamond Sponsor

Melissa and Bryan Yeazel

Platinum Sponsors

Colleen and Jim Baker

Kerrie and Kevin Debbs

Karen and Chuck Swoboda

Gold Sponsors

Diocese of Raleigh

Mary Ann and Mark Enzweiler

The Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh

Sue Ann and Donald Glower

Maria and Bob Luddy

Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem

Pinnacle Financial Partners

Poyner Spruill, LLC

St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church

Terry Shackelton


Allie and Tony Vance

Adrienne and Stephen Yates

Trish and John Healy & Mimi and Henry Zaytoun, Jr.

Silver Sponsors

Margaret and Philip Baddour

Major Russell F. Beagent, Jr.

Beyer Studio

Joseph Brannan

Mayor John and Patty Byrne

CJB18 Consulting, Inc.

Cristo Rey Research Triangle High School

Du Lac Wealth Services

Shannon and Steve DeMeo

Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre & St. Lawrence Treasure

Becky and Carman Liuzzo

Knights of Columbus State Council

Roberta and Rick Miller-Haraway

John Paat and Ann Reed

Towne Bank

Parish Sponsors

St. Ann Catholic Church

The Catholic Community of St. Thomas More

Holy Cross Catholic Church

Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral

Infant of Prague Catholic Church

Mother Teresa Catholic Church

St. Peter Catholic Church

Kerrie Debbs, Co-Chair

Karen Swoboda, Co-Chair

Ellen Crowley

Emily Edwards

Yolanda Flores

Beth Gildea

Molly O’Reardon

Henry Zaytoun, III.

Hosted by:

The Most Reverend Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama
the Catholic Charities Board of Directors

Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley

April 29, 2023


Black Tie • Reception • Dinner • Remarks

Since its inception in 2011, the Annual Gala has raised nearly $2 million to allow Catholic Charities to serve our neighbors in need. The event was first held in the Cardinal Gibbons High School gymnasium in 2011. Over time the event outgrew this space, attracting over 400 guests a year, and was moved to other locations including the Downtown Raleigh Marriott and the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley. Catholic Charities has been honored to have speakers such as former Duke Football Coach David Cutcliffe and former President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, Dr. Carolyn Woo, share in this tremendous event.