help others

2013 Press Room

Monmouth County Board of Catholic Charities and 2013 Ray of Hope Gala Committee Auctions Vintage-Style Diamond Ring at Event
Stunning Piece Designed and Donated By A.H. Fisher Diamonds.

Downton Abbey Theme at the 2013 Ray of Hope Gala Reflected in Top Auction Item: a Ladies Vintage Platinum Ring
The Monmouth County Board of Catholic Charities together with the 2013 Ray of Hope Gala Committee announced that a ladies vintage platinum fashion ring inspired by the popular PBS television series Downton Abbey topped the auction list at the 16th annual Ray of Hope Gala, a fundraiser to benefit Catholic Charities' programs in Monmouth County.

Ray of Hope Gala Committee Announces 2013 Community Service Award Honorees
Catholic Charities of Monmouth County tops list of organizations that have benefited from the volunteer work of Middletown couple.

2013 Pictures

2013 Ray of Hope Gala Committee Vice Chairs, Valarie DeFelice, Colts Neck, (center left) and Barbara Willis, Avon-by-the-Sea, (center right) welcome new committee members Meg Eggert, Wall Township, (left), 2013 Ray of Hope Gala Communications Co-Chair and Colleen Barry, Jackson (right).

Committee members Colleen Barry, Jackson and Cristina Amyot, Jackson.

2013 Ray of Hope Gala Sponsor Committee Co-Chairs Damian Sylvia, Ocean Grove, (left) and Robert Powderly, Middletown (center) are joined by committee member Peter Griffin, Colts Neck (right).

ray of hope gala


Ray of Hope Gala Marks 16 Years of Renewing Lives in Monmouth County

Pictured from left: Jennifer More, Barbara Willis, Larry Durso, Pat Durso and Valarie DeFelice

The Monmouth County Board of Catholic Charities and the 2013 Ray of Hope Gala Committee had many hurdles to overcome this past year, most notably Hurricane Sandy and its ongoing aftermath. Despite a delay in the gala planning process, the Board and Committee jumped into action and forged ahead to uphold their mission to improve the quality of life and restore hope for those less fortunate, including those affected by the storm.

Gala co-chairs, Valarie DeFelice (Saint Leo the Great, Lincroft), Jennifer More (Our Lady of Lourdes, Milltown) and Barbara Willis (St. Catherine/St. Margaret, Spring Lake), and a group of dedicated committee members worked tirelessly to plan and execute the 16th annual Ray of Hope Gala. The theme of the fundraiser was Downton Abbey, after the popular PBS television series. Red Bank-based AH Fisher Diamonds donated a stunning vintage-style ladies platinum ring that was the highlight of the live auction. The ring fetched a donation of just over $5,000. Three lucky recipients were the winners of the 50-50 raffle: Amanda Wright, Patricia Franklin and Patricia Woehnker.

The Gala took place on Friday, April 26th at the elegant Southern Colonial-inspired Eagle Oaks Golf & Country Club in Farmingdale. The event attracted 200 guests who enjoyed dinner, dancing and bidding on a spectacular array of auction items. Nearly $110,000 was raised to benefit Catholic Charities programs and services in Monmouth County. 

Parishioners from Saint Leo the Great, Pat and Larry Durso were awarded the 2013 Ray of Hope Outstanding Service Award for their contributions to Catholic Charities programs in Monmouth County, as well as lending their support to several other organizations, including the American Cancer Society’s annual Cancer Ball, Christian Brothers Academy, St. Leo’s Lunch Break Program, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Daughters of St. Paul and The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund.


Special Thanks to Our Generous Donors Who Supported the 2013 Ray of Hope Gala


Cocktail Reception
The Klock Family

Gibbons P.C.



Gala Premier Level
Durso Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley

Platinum Level
Circle BMW
Ray Catena Family of Dealerships
Mr. & Mrs James Tignanelli

Gold Level
Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Guyler
Wakefern Food Corp.

Silver Level
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Griffin
Wiss & Company, LLP

Bronze Level
Advanced Coring and Cutting Corp.
Circle Hyundai
The Curchin Group, LLC
Mr. and Mrs. Kevin More
Outerstuff Ltd.
Damian J. Sylvia Financial Solutions Inc.

Pewter Level
Amboy Bank
American Clean Energy
Mr. and Mrs. Brian Burriss
Mr. and Mrs. Albert Del Maestro, Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Donnelly
Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, P.C.
Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Harter
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas McEvoy
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Powderly
Ronstan Paper & Packaging
Saker ShopRites, Inc.
M. Barbara Willis
Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund