HARTFORD Youth programs were very much the focus of the Help and Hope Breakfast sponsored recently by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Hartford. More than $47,000 was raised through the event held at Hartfords Marriot Hotel.
Generous supporters help to extend the loving hands and heart of the Lord into our communities, said Joseph Smyth, retired executive director of the archdiocesan Office of Urban Affairs, who received the agencys annual Help & Hope Award during the event.
Rose Alma Senatore, chief executive officer of Catholic Charities, said she hopes that in addition to raising funds for youth programs, the event would also raise awareness of youth programs and of scores of other programs and services offered through Catholic Charities.
People dont realize the breadth and scope of Catholic Charities initiatives in more than 100 communities throughout the Archdiocese, said Peter ODonnell, director of fund development.
Randy Edsall, head football coach for the University of Connecticut and guest speaker at the breakfast, was among those unaware.
I didnt realize all the things Catholic Charities does to provide kids with opportunities, Mr. Edsall said.
How precious and important it is to provide young people with opportunities to help them achieve things they never believed they could, he added.
Its all about giving back and making things better for people, he said. The rewards are more than you can imagine.
Lois Neshi, chief of operations for Catholic Charities, said the organization provides a full range of services for individuals and families from early childhood to older adulthood.
Youth programs that enhance academic achievement or that focus on juvenile intervention or behavioral health are just some of the initiatives offered through Catholic Charities. The agency provides adoption and child care services and pregnancy and mental health counseling for individuals and families. It also provide residential and support services for the elderly and for people with developmental disabilities, as well as comprehensive resettlement services for refugees.
Among 520 supporters who attended the breakfast were Most Archbishop Henry J. Mansell; Kevin Nathan, sportscaster for NBC30-TV and WTIC radio; and Father Daniel Sullivan, Pastor at St. Margaret Mary Church in South Windsor. Archbishop Mansell gave the benediction. Mr. Nathan was master of ceremonies. Father Sullivan provided the invocation.
Youngsters who have been supported by Catholic Charities provided an entertaining and informative story of refugee migration through song and dance. Breakfast attendees also viewed a video presentation depicting the migration of refugees from Myanmar.
Three brothers who were featured in the video, whose family recently settled in Hartfords North End, were guests at the breakfast. Mr. Edsall presented the boys with an autographed UConn football.