Surrounded by magnificent works of art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s Kirkwood Hall was at capacity for Catholic Charities’ annual Celebration of Hope Gala on April 29. Chaired by Peggy and Terry Dunn, the enchanting evening brought in over $1.3 million for our programs and services.

Guests enjoyed the opportunity to wander the galleries and a cocktail reception in Rozzelle Court prior to the main program. Bishop James Johnston opened the program with prayer and CEO Karen Noel and Celebration of Hope chairs, Peggy and Terry Dunn, gave thoughtful remarks.

Terry Dunn offered a beautiful meditation on the importance of Catholic Charities. “Catholic Charities is reaching out and is changing lives. St. Paul wrote, ‘Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me.’ I think tonight this represents Christ living within all of us—all of us coming together. We are all charged to live our faith and support Catholic Charities and this diocese. The need is so great and the opportunity for you to serve is so strong.”

Emily Holwick, former KMBC anchor and our emcee for the evening, shared the stories of hope from our clients at Catholic Charities. These stories were interspersed with the musical performances of Maria Milazzo, Emily Stout, and Gary Adams, who received a standing ovation for their final performance of “The Prayer.”

We are deeply grateful to our sponsors and guests for their generosity as Catholic Charities provides programs and services agency-wide to those most vulnerable in our Kansas City-St. Joseph communities.

By Katie Pike, Annual Appeal Manager

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