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Friday, September 9, 2016

Setting the stage to help people in crisis - the 15th Annual Gala of the Arts took place at Chicago's Navy Pier, and featured performing and visual arts. This black-tie optional event has become one of Chicago's premier social events, benefiting Catholic Charities Emergency Assistance Programs. Save the date for the 16th Annual Gala of the Arts on Friday September 8, 2017. Contact Rose Marie Lesniak-Mendez, Special Events Manager, at with any questions or if you are interested in joining this great Planning Committee!

 Emergency Services

Emergency Assistance Program

Catholic Charities’ Emergency Assistance Program are often the first point of contact that people in need have with Catholic Charities. These critical programs provide food, clothing, emergency shelter and financial assistance, as well as access and referrals to Catholic Charities’ many other programs and services.

Since the recession began in 2008, Catholic Charities has provided more than 9 million meals to the hungry and homeless through our network of city and suburban emergency food pantries, with over 2.2 million meals provided last year alone.

Since 2007, Catholic Charities has responded to nearly 500,000 requests from individuals and families for access to financial assistance that can prevent or end homelessness. 

In 2012, Catholic Charities was chosen by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) to provide a statewide foreclosure prevention helpline and participate in the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network.

In August of 2012, Catholic Charities assumed a City of Chicago program that provides homeless individuals and families with rides to shelters. Since then, our mobile outreach has responded to over 53,000 requests from individuals and families for rides, well-being checks, shelter and the delivery of food boxes.


Rich Daniels has been creating and conducting memorable musical concerts and events since 1974. He and The City Lights Orchestra have participated in thousands of programs nationwide, and performed and collaborated with some of the greatest musical artists of the past half-century- Ray Charles, Mel Torme, Garth Brooks, Rosemary Clooney, Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick, Michael Buble and David Foster. They are currently being featured in concert on PBS. Rich has been the on-camera music supervisor for the hit TV show, EMPIRE, and is traveling the country conducting orchestras for the estate of Jerry Garcia.

Ron Hawking is Chicago's award winning entertainer and star of the “His Way Show" and "The Men & Their Music–performed at Ron’s very own His Way Theater at NBC studio. His achievements include: Chicago Music Awards 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, The Cabaret Professionals 2015 Gold Coast Award, his latest album release "The song Is You" was nominated to the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocalist at the 57th Grammy Awards.    

 Art Show

Always a crowd favorite, the Art Show & Sale features original artwork, photographs and giclee productions by 16 locally and nationally recognized artists. Commissioned pieces will be available from a number of the artists participating, just inquire!

All of our artists are donating a percentage of their art sales to benefit Catholic Charities Emergency Assistance Programs. We would like to express our sincere appreciation for their incredible generosity.

2016 Artists

Kina Bagovska
Alecia Bern
Carol Bilder
Jacqui Blatchford
Veronica Bruce
Thomas Campone
Maureen Carr
Dean Johnson
Jasper Kirk
Mark McMahon
Sandy Newell
Dennis O’Malley
Lori Daugstrup Rosenbaum
Linda Roxe
John Seubert
James Wilbat

Stay tuned for Silent Auction items and the opportunity to bid online!

Grand Raffle:

Tickets are $50 each or three for $100.


Two night stay at a premier Chicago hotel
$200 gift certificate for spa services at the hotel
Two fantastic dinners
$200 gift certificate to Broadway in Chicago.

Click here to purchase your tickets online.

 Mandatum Award

The 2016 Gala of the Arts Mandatum Award

The 2016 recipient of the Mandatum Award is Rev. Mr. Stanley D. Strom, for his generosity and unwavering support of people in need.

The Mandatum Award, given annually at the Gala of the Arts, is the most prestigious honor that Catholic Charities awards each year and celebrates the awardee’s exemplification of Christ’s mandate to serve the poor with compassion and generosity.

Catholic Charities is honored to present the Mandatum Award to Deacon Strom for his dedication to our mission, which has made a lasting impact upon Catholic Charities and the thousands of families we serve.




2015 – Mr. & Mrs. William L. Hardy; Mr. & Mrs. William J. Jovan; Mr. & Mrs.(†) James Serritella

2014 – The Women’s Board of Catholic Charities, Lake County Services

2013 - Mr. & Mrs. Michael A. Bilder

2012 – Mr. & Mrs. Richard J. Guzior

2011 – Mr. & Mrs. Charles W. Mulaney, Jr. 

2010 – Illinois Club for Catholic Women 

2009 – Most Reverend Timothy J. Lyne(†)

2008 – The De Santis Family Foundation
            Accepted by Kyle De Santis

2007 – Mr. & Mrs. Ronald P. Laurent

2006 – Mr. Salvatore C. Argento(†)
            Presented to Mrs. Sam (Mary Jean) Argento & son, Vincent Argento

2005 – Mr. & Mrs. John(†) Geldermann  

2004 - Mr. & Mrs. Richard W. Burke, Sr.

2003 – Dedication of the Mandatum Work of Art

2002 – Mr. & Mrs. Thomas W. Havey
            Mr.(†) & Mrs.(†) Richard Carrigan, Sr.


Sponsorships are available by contacting Rose Marie Lesniak-Mendez at or registering below.

Download a Gala Information Packet

Download a Sponsorship and Ad Sales Form

Register here!

We offer our sincere appreciation to the individuals and organizations that have sponsored the 2016 Gala of the Arts. Because of your generosity, more people in need will be assisted through the services that Catholic Charities provides.

Presenting Sponsor:
Sage Foundation

Centerpiece & Audio Visual Sponsor:
Michael & Carol Bilder

Dinner Sponsor:
Chip & Ellen Mulaney

Entertainment Sponsor:
Jim Serritella

Cocktail Hour Sponsor:
Thomas W. Havey

After Party Sponsor:
Bill & Sue McErlean

Party Favor Sponsor:
Richard & Christine Guzior and Richards Building Supply Co.

Dress Circle Table Sponsors:
Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C.
Eugene & Joanne DeMuro
Dutch Farms
Goldberg Weisman Cairo, LTD
Madden, Jiganti, Moore & Sinars LLP
Raymond & Irene Oddi
Jeffrey & Gloria Schwartz
Anthony Serritella

Chorus Line Table Sponsors:
Jerry & Christine Bern
William & Jeanne Hardy
Constantine Jovan
William & Mary Alice Jovan
Kates Detective & Security Agency
Dennis & Kristina Kelleher

Art Board Sponsors:
Goode Foods
Peter Kelliher

Artist Sponsor:
Cathy Priest
 Gala Contact Us
Enter the code shown above in the box below
 Gala Mailing Address

If you would like to receive more information regarding the Catholic Charities Gala of the Arts, please complete the form below or, contact Rose Marie Lesniak-Mendez.

Mailing Address:

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
Gala of the Arts
721 N LaSalle Street, 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60654

 Event Details
The 15th Annual Gala of the Arts took place on Friday, September 9, 2016 at Navy Pier in the Grand Ballroom. The event featured an exquisite Art Show & Sale, Grand Raffle, and a live performance by Rich Daniels and the City Lights Orchestra, featuring a special performance by Ron Hawking. For more information, please contact Rose Marie Lesniak-Mendez, Special Events Manager, at 312-655-7290 or

Register here!

Donate here!

Black tie optional

Navy Pier is located at 600 E. Grand Avenue.

• From the north, take Lake Shore Drive (US 41) to the Grand Avenue exit.
• From the northwest, take the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) to the Ohio Street Exit, south on Orleans to Illinois Street and proceed east.
• From the west, take the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) to Columbus Drive, north to Illinois Street and proceed east.
• From the southwest, take the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) to Lake Shore Drive (US 41), north to Illinois Street and proceed east.
• From the south, take the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94) east to the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) to Lake Shore Drive (US 41), north to Illinois Street and proceed east.
• From the southeast, take Lake Shore Drive (US 41) north to the Illinois Street exit.