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Unveiling a new plan to alleviate, reduce, and end poverty for those it serves, Catholic Charities of Idaho raised over $97,000 to benefit local programs on February 4th at its annual Loaves & Fishes Gala at the Grove Hotel in Boise.

The evening celebration included dinner, dancing and a live auction at the Mardi Gras-themed event. Auction items included sailing with Bishop Peter on a “Journey to Hope, ID”, and a custom reproduction of an icon hand painted by the Bishop. Event proceeds will benefit human service programs operated by the agency. Catholic Charities serves over 3,000 people annually through a variety of services, including mental health counseling, immigration legal services, skill building and educational services, youth mentoring, asset building, and information, referral and advocacy services.

Bishop Peter Christensen opened the festivities with prayer and a welcome that emphasized the important work of Catholic Charities. Douglas All es, CCI Executive Director, highlighted new, innovative services designed to promote economic mobility and long term prosperity for agency clients. Attendees also heard the story of a CCI client who purchased a home through the agency’s matched savings account program.

The gala’s honorary chairs this year were Terry & Kathi Bellew. Catherine Dorling was recognized for her years of volunteer service to the agency. Mike Kennedy, CCI Board Chair, served as master of ceremonies. Event sponsors included Saint Alphonsus Health System, Angels Among Us, Guho Corp, the Diocese of Boise, Tomlinson & Associates, Boise Housing Corporation, Bishop Kelly High School, Capitol Law Group, Cloverdale Funeral Home, St. Luke’s Health System, Lesley Bahner & John Fiedler, and the Idaho Central Credit Union.

Among those attending as table sponsors were AJ and Susie Balukoff, Dennis and Suzanne Carter, Don and Irene Eaton, Our Lady of the Valley parish, and Msgr. Andy Schumacher.

This year’s gala planning committee included Scott Curtis, John Fiedler, Chris Carlson, Mike Kennedy, and Msgr. Schumacher. Following the program and auction, guests danced to music from the Sally Tibbs & Kevin Kirk Jazz Ensemble.

Catholic Charities is the social service arm of the Diocese of Boise and a member of Catholic Charities USA, the largest private network of social service agencies in the United States.

–Idaho Catholic Register, March 3-16, 2017