Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

carolyns dinner 2015 6816 web

WATERBURY – Carolyn’s Place, a pregnancy care center serving Greater Waterbury, will celebrate its 24th year of caring for babies and families at its annual dinner, taking place from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at La Bella Vista at the Pontelandolfo Club, 380 Farmwood Road.

Tickets for the dinner, which includes a five-course meal and wine, cost $55. They can be purchased by calling 203-597-9080 or emailing staff@carolynsplace.net.

The emcee will be Bill Dunn, author of “The Merry Catholic” blog and the weekly “A Matter of Laugh or Death” column in the Republican-American, and live jazz music will be provided by Gomez & Sadlon.

The event will pay special tribute to several people and groups for their pro-life advocacy and volunteer work.

The Maureen Anne Donohoe Life Award will be presented to St. Mary’s Hospital in recognition of the hospital’s continued faithfulness to the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. Chad Wable, president of St. Mary’s, will accept the award.

The Carolyn’s Place Ministry Award will be given to Father Jose Mercado, former chaplain of St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol. In that ministry, Father Mercado organized presentations with pro-life speakers for faculty and students and organized the first student pro-life pilgrimage to the March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Father Mercado is now the pastor of St. Augustine Church and St. Anne-Immaculate Conception Church, both in Hartford, and is on the board of St. Brigid-St. Augustine Partnership School.

Waterbury residents Phyllis and Dean Tarsi will receive the Walter J. Williams Service Award for their diligent work on Carolyn’s Place mailings. Dean also has assisted greatly with outdoor maintenance, while Phyllis often assists with “Earn While You Learn” parenting classes and helps clients in the director’s absence.

Returning is the event’s popular silent auction. Prizes include a golf foursome, Yankees tickets, theater tickets, wine baskets, a furnished log cabin doll house and much more.

The event will also commemorate the 25th birthday of Carolyn Marie, for whom Carolyn’s Place is named. On Nov. 4, 1991, Father Robert Rousseau, then pastor at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Watertown, discovered a 3-hours-old baby girl, left in a box in the entryway of the church.

Father Rousseau and a group of parishioners formed a committee that in 1992 opened the doors to Carolyn’s Place.

Baby Carolyn Marie was adopted confidentially but her legacy continues. Since then, Carolyn’s Place has assisted mothers with the births of more than 1,391 babies, conducted nearly 1,200 education presentations to schools, logged over 210,240 hours on the 24-hour hotline, filled nearly 5,389 personal-needs item requests and taught countless mothers and fathers about child birth preparation and parenting skills.