Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Ball to Benefit the Needy

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Ball to Benefit the Needy

Article excerpt

Catholic Charities will host its 23rd annual black-tie gala next Saturday, to benefit the "poorest of the poor" in the community, said spokeswoman Bridget Spiess.Spiess, along with Linda Whitacre, Julie Delaney and Mary Kenealy-Barbetta is heading up the 2012 Catholic Charities Ball.A Catholic Charities volunteer for the past decade, Spiess is her fifth year as co-chair for the fundraiser celebration.The event will be start at 6 p.m., at the Ritz Carlton, 1111 Ritz Carleton Drive, Sarasota.This year, the event committee decided against a themed program; Spiess said that the main focus will be on the charity and the programs that they sponsor.Most Rev. Frank Dewane, Bishop, DOV, will host the event, which is sponsored in part by Northern Trust.Spiess said that volunteering is a balm for the soul."My heart is really in this charity," she said. "The event is very special in that it is a really fun time -- there are no frowns."And we are raising money for people that have the absolute greatest need. There are a lot of people in our community who are on thin ice and it is our duty to help them."Whitacre has volunteered for the past four years."What sold me was the fact that 96 cents from every dollar donated goes straight to people in need," she said. "The other thing was that Catholic Charities helps anyone in need, you don't have to be a Catholic -- or even a Christian."Whitacre owns a graphic arts business; she said that she would love to be able to "write a really large check, but I can't, so I volunteer my services."She designed the invitations for the gala as well as the Annual Report and various other materials."I am lucky," Whitacre said. "My husband, Tim and I, are very fortunate."We work hard," she added. "We want to teach our children to appreciate what they have and also to set the example of giving."That is important to me."The children, Spiess said, touch her heart most deeply. "It is the children that I feel for," she added. "Catholic Charities accomplishes so much for the children. …

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