Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Monday, April 23, 2018

carolyns 2014 7236 web 2Archbishop Leonard T. Blair talks to guests at a table at the Carolyn's Place dinner Nov. 2, 2014, at La Bella Vista Restaurant in Waterbury. (Photo by Karen O. Bray)WATERBURY — Carolyn’s Place, a pregnancy care center serving Greater Waterbury, will celebrate its 25th anniversary of caring for babies and families at its annual dinner on Sunday, November 5 at La Bella Vista at the Pontelandolfo Club, 380 Farmwood Road.

Tickets for the dinner, which runs from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. and which includes a five-course meal and wine, cost $55. They may be purchased at 203-597-9080 orstaff@carolynsplace.net.

Television journalist and retired news anchor Al Terzi will serve as emcee. Live jazz music will be provided by Gomez & Sadlon.

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

The Maureen Anne Donohoe Life Award will be presented to Carolyn’s Place’s founding parish, St. John the Evangelist Church in Watertown. Accepting the award will be the former pastors of the parish, who kept the ministry alive in the parish with financial and spiritual support for two and a half decades. Also being recognized will be many individual parishioners who have been involved with Carolyn’s Place in many capacities.

The Carolyn’s Place Ministry Award will be given to Father John P. Gatzak of Prospect. As the executive director of the Archdiocese of Hartford's Office of Radio and Television and general manager of WJMJ-FM, Father John has spread the word about the importance of respect for all life from conception to natural death to thousands of listeners and has highlighted Carolyn’s Place on the television show "Crossroads" several times.

Middlebury resident M. Jane Teta will receive the Walter J. Williams Service Award for her involvement with Carolyn’s Place over the last decade. She joined the board of directors in 2008 and served as chair for four years. A very active board member, she is a major financial contributor and is responsible for organizing parts of Carolyn’s Place’s infrastructure. She recently spearheaded the center’s mobile van initiative.

Returning again is the event’s popular silent auction, including such prizes as sports items, theater tickets, gift certificates, tools and much more.

The event will also commemorate the 26th birthday of Carolyn Marie, for whom Carolyn’s Place is named. On Nov. 4, 1991, Father Robert Rousseau, then pastor of St. John the Evangelist, discovered an infant 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 1,449 babies; conducted nearly 1,300 education presentations to schools; logged over 219,000 hours on the 24-hour hotline; filled nearly 6,178 requests for personal needs items; and taught more than 430 mothers and fathers child birth preparation and parenting skills.

Event sponsors include Prospect Veterinary and Prospect Boarding & Grooming; Kennedy Wealth & Tax Management Inc.; United Auto Sales and Services, Inc.; Waterbury Swiss Automatics, Inc., Maureen Williams; J. Peck Construction Services, Inc.; Ion Insurance; Knights of Columbus Council 5066; and M.J. Fahy and Sons, Inc.