The 8th annual Catholic Charities Gala was held at the downtown Davenport Grand Hotel on Friday, May 13th, 2016. This year’s event with the theme, ‘Be the Light’ was attended by nearly 900 guests – the largest number to ever attend the affair. The tables were elegantly clad with black tablecloths, white linens, perfectly pristine clear glass hurricanes with floating white candles and twinkling white lights to enhance the table place holders and carry the elegant theme throughout the room.
The evening began with a social hour in the hotel lobby, which quickly overflowed into the ballroom where giant shrimp, stuffed mushrooms, shrimp BLT’s (that’s what they called them!), and a lovely bruschetta coupled with various red and white wines courtesy of Arbor Crest, greeted the guests in elegant and proper fashion.
Bells chimed and lights dimmed, alerting the guests that it was time to find their tables and settle in for an extraordinary meal which while savored by all, took a close second to the wisdom, celebration and thanks that was presented to the elegantly dressed faction.
The celebration commenced with the ever eloquent Blessing by Bishop Thomas Daly, followed by the Celebration and Thanks by Development Director of CCS, Ann Marie Byrd. While the attendees were finishing their dinner, the Volunteer of the Year and Donna Hanson Awards were bestowed upon their very deserving individuals. Keynote and motivational speaker, retired veteran Scotty Smiley, and author of “Hope Unseen” then shared his message of hope, optimism and how he found the faith and perseverance to find meaning of his life after losing his eyesight while serving his country. A standing ovation ensued as his beautiful wife, Tiffany, gracefully led his arm to hers as they reclaimed their seats for the remaining two presentations.
Executive Director, Rob McCann took to the podium and honored his staff and volunteers with glowing praise and gratitude for all they do. McCann took time to update the ‘Be the Light’ guests on the many programs and the service that Catholic Charities provides. The Christmas Bureau, House of Charity, St. Margaret’s Shelter, St. Anne’s Children and Family Center, CCS Furniture Bank and Furnishings for Hope Retail Store, to name just a few, all the way from Okanogan to Asotin counties, enveloping 11 counties in between the two.
As McCann’s presentation came to a close and the ‘Ask’ from the attendees was given, he requested the attendees, once they’d completed their donation forms, to inspect the pens that had been left for them at their setting. Each pen was equipped with a glowing light, that, once the room was darkened, filled the room with the glow of nearly 900 glowing lights. Nearly 900 donations that will allow Catholic Charities to continue their far reaching efforts to affect families and communities in need. Nearly 900 hands of generosity, doing their part, to ‘Be the Light’ where sometimes, light seems to be non-existent.