Actor Joe Piscopo will host the Guardian Angel Benefit of Hope, a virtual event that will replace four of CCDOT's annual fundraisers. Courtesy photo
Actor Joe Piscopo will host the Guardian Angel Benefit of Hope, a virtual event that will replace four of CCDOT's annual fundraisers. Courtesy photo
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton has enlisted comedian-actor Joe Piscopo to host the inaugural Guardian Angel Benefit of Hope, a virtual event that will replace four of the agency’s annual fundraisers.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Catholic Charities has continued to support the more than 100,000 people it serves each year in Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties. The organization announced June 11 that they had decided to consolidate its four annual fundraisers into a single, virtual event to ensure the safety of Catholic Charities’ supporters and staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Guardian Angel Benefit of Hope virtual celebration/benefit, to be streamed at https://one.bidpal.net/gaboh2020/welcome from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30,  combines Catholic Charities’ signature annual fundraiser, the Guardian Angel Dinner Dance, as well as the Monmouth Ray of Hope (supporting Monmouth County programs), the Taste of Burlington, and the Gift Auction (both supporting Catholic Charities’ Providence House Domestic Violence Services in Burlington and Ocean Counties). Altogether, the four events typically raise more than half a million dollars and draw nearly 2,000 attendees. The virtual event is free to attend.

Piscopo, a native New Jerseyan, “Saturday Night Live” alum and musician, is known for supporting the community through charitable works and appearances. In addition to Piscopo, the benefit also will include other special guests, musical performances and more.

“The celebration is a great opportunity for us to tell the story of the transforming impact Catholic Charities makes in our community for children, youth and adults,” said Marlene Lao-Collins, executive director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton. “It is through the generous support of our donors and volunteers that we are able make this difference.”

Outstanding volunteers and supporters of Catholic Charities will be honored during the event for their work on behalf of the region’s most vulnerable citizens. They include Thomas J. Keefe and Judithann C. Keefe of Spring Lake (the Richard J. Hughes, CCDOT Humanitarian Award); Robert Brooks of Trenton (Client Achievement Award); Stark & Stark of Lawrenceville (Corporate Citizen of the Year); Deacon James L. Casa of Mount Holly (Light of Hope, Burlington County); Mary Jo Herbert of Titusville (Light of Hope, Mercer County); Dr. Jack V. Kirnan of Spring Lake (Light of Hope, Monmouth County), and the Oceanaire Women’s Golf Association of Waretown (Light of Hope, Ocean County). 

“Our supporters have always been our guardian angels – they really are the reason we are able to do the work we do,” said Nancy Tompkins, director of Catholic Charities’ Development and Marketing team. “We are thrilled to have Joe Piscopo on board.”

Tompkins continued, “We are counting on supporters now more than ever to ensure this new event is a success. People can watch from the comfort of their own homes, and we have some great surprises in store that will make this a can’t-miss celebration!”

For more information on the Guardian Angel Benefit of Hope virtual event, visit https://one.bidpal.net/gaboh2020/welcome, or contact events coordinator Barbara Yuson at byuson@cctrenton.org, or Dana DiFilippo, communication officer, at ddifilippo@cctrenton.org or 215-756-6277.