Catholic Charities’ Annual Celebration of Charity Returns to In-Person Event

Community Partners Honored, $107,000 Raised to Help Neighbors in Need

GOSHEN – It was a night of fellowship, recognition, and inspiration as Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster returned to an in-person celebration for the first time in three years for its largest annual fundraiser. The 16th annual Celebration of Charity and Caritas Awards Dinner was held at The Barn at Villa Venezia, one of the area’s newest event venues. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Caritas Awards to community-minded individuals and organizations who embody Catholic Charities’ mission to provide help and create hope.

The 2022 Caritas Award recipients were Newburgh Armory Unity Center, Pastor Fernando Salazar (of 2nda Iglesia la Mision, Kingston), Frito-Lay/Popcorners, and Dr. Dean Scher, retired Catholic Charities CEO.

As guests arrived, they were greeted by music from the Mount Academy String Ensemble. The evening’s festivities included a social hour and silent auction, a moving performance of Amazing Grace from board member Vincent Coq, and an inspiring personal testimony from Kyle Borisewich, who shared his journey to recovery. Serving as the Celebration’s Master of Ceremonies, Thomas Larsen, Esq., Catholic Charities board member and Senior Vice President of Government and Public Relations for Mediacom Communications, addressed the guests as he kicked off the program, “So much has changed since we last gathered three years ago. We fought an invisible enemy, and essential workers, first responders, and healthcare providers kept our world turning.”  He called for a moment of silence to remember friends, loved ones, and victims of COVID who were lost over the past two years.

Catholic Charities CEO Shannon Kelly provided an agency update and offered guests a message of hope. “Hope is at the heart of Catholic Charities mission – we provide help and create hope for our neighbors in need. Despite difficult times, our agency helped more than 36,000 individuals and families last year, regardless of religion or ability to pay. We have provided food, shelter, and respite from the cold and offered lifesaving drug and alcohol addiction and recovery support to those who are struggling. Our team is dedicated to ensuring those in need know they’re not alone and help is available,” added Ms. Kelly.

Catholic Charities’ largest annual fundraiser, the 2022 Celebration grossed more than $107,000. The much-needed funds stay local to support Catholic Charities programs in the community.

Addressing the crowd on behalf of Catholic Charities’ board of directors, Tom Strahle, chairman of the board said, “I know firsthand the toll addiction and mental illness can take on a person and on a family. I have been blessed to see the outstanding work Catholic Charities’ dedicated team undertakes to make positive changes in the lives of others, and I am grateful for the 2022 Caritas honorees who join with us in fulfilling our mission. Together, we are making a difference.”

Event sponsors and advertisers in the commemorative journal helped support the fundraising efforts of the 16th annual Celebration. Mediacom Communications was the premier Platinum sponsor. Armistead Mechanical and Schweppes signed on as Gold Sponsors and Pepsi, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of NY, Skip & Susan Tetz, and Garnet Health were Flower Sponsors. Silver sponsors included Ulster Savings, HONORehg, Westchester Medical Center Health Network, and Resorts World Catskills.

Catholic Charities provides assistance to the marginalized and vulnerable in Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties so they may enjoy a better quality of life. Services include emergency food and shelter assistance, a continuum of support for those suffering from the disease of addiction, as well as prevention and education programs for youth and adults, case management, and immigration assistance.

The next Catholic Charities event – Golf for Charity – will be held Monday, September 19, at West Hills Country Club in Middletown. Sponsorship and foursome opportunities are available. To learn more, contact Kristin Jensen at or 845.294.5124, x1005.


Caption: Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster hosted the 16th annual Celebration of Charity and Caritas Awards Dinner at The Barn at Villa Venezia. The Caritas Award is presented to community partners who embody the non-profit agency’s mission to provide help and create hope. Pictured (l-r) are Catholic Charities Board Chair Tom Strahle; Caritas honorees Brad Euker, Kieran Bretz, and Archie Atkinson representing Frito-Lay/Popcorners; Pastor Fernando Salzar of 2nda Iglesia la Mision; Tom Weddell, incoming chair of the Newburgh Armory Unity Center;
Dr. Dean Scher, retired Catholic Charities CEO; and Shannon Kelly, CEO, Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster.