Join Us for the 34th Guardian Angel Dinner Dance


TRENTON, NJ – Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton is excited to announce its 34th Annual Guardian Angel Dinner Dance will held on Thursday, September 21, 2023, at The Merion in Cinnaminson, NJ.

“One person, one family at a time, we help people who struggle with substance use, behavioral health concerns, food insecurity, homelessness or domestic abuse,” said Executive Director Marlene Laó-Collins. “Our doors are open to everyone. To do this lifesaving work, we rely on a network of volunteers and supporters who share our commitment to serve the most vulnerable among us. We are thrilled to be able to recognize their efforts and honor their roles in answering our call to serve others.”

“Our honorees this year epitomize the idea of service to others,” said Director of Development and Marketing Jennifer Leip.

This Year’s Honorees:

Michael W. Herbert will receive the Richard J. Hughes Humanitarian Award. Herbert followed closely in his father’s footsteps on more than one path through life. Like his father did, Michael practices municipal and land use law. Also like his father, he gives of his time and expertise to support Catholic Charities. His father served as of the Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2004. Michael joined the Mercer County Board in 2017 and currently serves as vice chair of the Board of Trustees. Michael is a Shareholder at Parker McCay and serves as assistant counsel to the Diocese of Trenton.

Monsignor Dennis Apoldite will receive a Light of Hope Award. As a young man growing up in Trenton, Monsignor Apoldite was an active member of St. Joachim Church. The connection he had to his parish and the priests there — being an altar server and member of the CYO — had quite an impact. Msgr. Apoldite said he can’t remember a time when he didn’t want to be a priest. For the past 16 years, he has been serving at Sacred Heart Parish in Trenton. He has played an important role within congregations throughout Mercer County: Our Lady of Sorrows, The Church of Saint Ann and St. Alphonsus. He also served at Saint Mary, Mother of God Church in Monmouth County and as Chaplain at Notre Dame High School.

The Woman’s League of Mount Holly will receive a Light of Hope Award. The Woman’s League of Mount Holly has been serving the community since 1903, when its nine founders set out to address the needs they saw around town. One hundred and twenty years later, the group is 51 members strong and still working diligently on making improvements and helping others. Members say their projects and causes are as varied as the women who belong to the organization. Thankfully for Catholic Charities, Providence House Domestic Violence Services in Burlington has benefited from the League’s generosity since 1982. During the pandemic, when the safe houses were full and survivors were being housed in alternative locations, the League donated more than 500 microwaveable meals and snacks.

Dr. Eric Schwartz will be recognized as the Corporate Citizen of the Year. Dr. Schwartz, executive director of Capital Health’s Institute for Urban Care, has demonstrated his commitment to improving health care services for residents of the Trenton area by creating programs that serve the unique needs of the community. Catholic Charities is proud to partner with Dr. Schwartz in the For My Baby and Me program, a collaboration helping pregnant and postpartum women recover from addiction by providing medication-assisted treatment and counseling, in addition to wraparound services.

Brandon will be honored with the Client Achievement Award. Brandon’s life has been through a series of ups and downs but currently his outlook on life is upbeat and positive. He has a job he loves, his own apartment and is an active member of his church. Brandon’s path to recovery started when he was enrolled in the Catholic Charities’ Partners in Recovery program, which specializes in helping individuals with psychiatric and co-occurring disorders. Through the program, Brandon received counseling, assistance in managing his mental health and support in finding a job. He has since become an important member of his team at work and also visits Partners in Recovery to provide encouragement to current participants and share his personal story.

Tickets and sponsorships for the Guardian Angel Dinner Dance are still available. For information on how you can attend, sponsor or support this impactful event, contact Leslie Ann Alpaugh at 609-394-5181 ext. 1154 or visit

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