By Vanessa Boekenoogen
RIVERSIDE—On November 3, Catholic Charities held its 22nd Annual “Evening of Hope” Benefit at the Victoria Club in Riverside.
Throughout the evening, guests were immersed in the Catholic Charities mission of “providing compassionate social services that respond to the suffering of the vulnerable and those in crisis in our local communities.” Guests were provided the opportunity to support this mission in a number of ways throughout the evening.
In addition to a traditional silent auction, “Gifts for Others” allowed guests to directly impact the families Catholic Charities serves. This year’s items included diapers, groceries, laundry detergent, prescription assistance, meal delivery for homebound seniors, supplies for our after-school center, new shoes for children, and many more. These auction items are critical to individuals and families who are in need.
Later in the evening, Catholic Charities held its traditional “Paddles for Scholars,” live auction. Guests raised their auction paddles to raise funds for the Catholic Charities’ Higher Education Student Investment Program. These funds are used to support the four distinct components: Social Work Non-Profit Fellowship Program, field placements for up to 20 doctoral, master’s degree, and bachelor level interns at Catholic Charities, “Providing Help, Creating Hope” Community College Scholarships, and Research Projects in partnership with local universities. This auction provides guests the unique opportunity to invest in higher education of students who will be the next generation of social workers, therapists, and case workers in our local communities.
One of the highlights of the evening was the acknowledgement of the 2012 Catholic Charities’ “Providing Help, Creating Hope” honorees. This year’s honorees were Kim Carter and Arturo J. Alcaraz. Carter is known in San Bernardino for her work as the Founder and Executive Director of Time for Change Foundation. She developed the foundation’s first affordable housing project, the Phoenix Square, which is a seven unit apartment complex for low-income families. Alcaraz, the evening’s second honoree, is known for his distinct work as the Director of Diversity and Human Resources for the Riverside Community College District. In the past Art has served as President of the Moreno Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Riverside Latino Network. Both were honored for their extraordinary work in the Inland counties with a personalized piece of artwork, commissioned by local artist Michael Bernbaum of Riverside.