Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton will hold its 30th annual Guardian Angel Dinner Dance Sept. 21 in the Hyatt Regency, Princeton.
The celebration is a salute to those who have positively impacted Catholic Charities’ ability to meet the needs of the poor and vulnerable. It is also the signature fundraiser for Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton, raising much-needed funds to support the 100,000 people the organization serves annually, regardless of religious affiliation.
“This wonderful celebration gives us an opportunity to honor the ‘everyday heroes’ who exemplify the dedication, compassion, courage and hard work required to transform the lives of Central Jersey’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Marlene Lao-Collins, executive director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton. “This year will be a special year – the 30th anniversary of our Guardian Angel Dinner Dance, which raises money to support the nearly 60 programs we offer to help people overcome poverty, homelessness, hunger, domestic violence, childhood trauma, mental health disorders, drug addiction and so many other hardships. We invite everyone to come support this worthy cause, and to celebrate our deserving honorees.”
Several people and organizations will be honored during the gala for their tireless work on behalf of the region’s most vulnerable citizens. The Richard J. Hughes, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton Humanitarian Award will be presented to an outstanding leader who is committed to humanitarian causes, is a devoted advocate of Catholic Charities and the betterment of humanity in general, and compassionately strives to improve the quality of life of people across all economic and social lines. The Light of Hope Award honors a person or organization in Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties for their support and commitment to the work of Catholic Charities in their community. The Corporate Citizen of the Year Award recognizes a business that partners and supports Catholic Charities’ goals and mission.
“We are called to love and serve those in our community in their time of need. Answering this call has been an honor and a blessing. Catholic Charities has opened our eyes to the depth of love and caring for our brothers and sisters,” said Jeffrey D. and Megan Gordon, co-chairs of the gala’s planning committee. “We ask everyone to join with Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton in following Jesus? instruction for those that love him to ‘feed his sheep,’ which is accomplished through the work of the honorees, staff, volunteers, and donors.”
Those wishing to attend the gala, sponsor a table, donate auction items, advertise in the event’s program journal or otherwise support Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton, can visit https://one.bidpal.net/gadd2019/welcome, or contact events coordinator Barbara Yuson at 609-394-5181, ext. 1159.
The 2019 honorees to be honored at the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton’s annual Guardian Angel Dinner Dance Sept. 21 are:
Marianne Earle of Freehold: Richard J. Hughes, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton Humanitarian Award. Earle has been working quietly behind the scenes for years to improve her community. Besides supporting Catholic Charities, Earle is a dame in the Order of Malta; a charter member of the Freehold Center Partnership, which improves the downtown district, and was a longtime PTA president at her childrens’ school, St. Rose of Lima, where she is a parishioner and member of the hand bell choir. Earle also serves on the board of Collier Youth Services, a Marlboro nonprofit for at-risk youth. She and her late husband Walter co-founded the Earle Companies, a construction business, in 1968. She has seven children and 28 grandchildren.
Jesse DeSanto of Delanco: Light of Hope Award for Burlington County. DeSanto, Delanco Police Chief, has financially supported Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton for nearly a decade. Before becoming chief in 2012, he served as the department’s domestic violence liaison and worked closely with Providence House-Domestic Violence Services of Burlington County, and also has helped link people to shelter and other basic-need services through Community Services, which was located in Delanco until moving in March to Burlington.
Frank Taylor of Stuart, Fla.: Light of Hope Award for Mercer County. Taylor served on Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton’s Mercer County board for nine years and has consistently supported the agency financially for more than 20 years. He founded the Atlantic Lining Company, Inc., an Eastampton-based environmental construction firm focusing on landfill design and installation. Taylor also has donated to the New Jersey Amateur Basketball Club and coached a Trenton team for years. He and his wife Nancy, who have four grown children, recently relocated to Florida.
Joseph Leone Introna of Brielle: Light of Hope Award for Ocean County. For Introna, charity is a key ingredient in his business, Joe Leone’s Italian Specialties, which he started as a bakery when he was 21 years old. Introna donates to countless causes, including Catholic Charities, Covenant House, and Common Ground Grief Center, and has a disaster-relief fund to support the recovery of natural disasters in Italy. Introna is a member of St. Peter Parish, Point Pleasant Beach. He and Jennifer, his wife of 20 years, have five children.
Stanley Koreyva Jr. of Sea Girt: Light of Hope Award for Monmouth County. Koreyva has served on Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton’s board of trustees since 2015 and has donated financially for many years. Koreyva is president and chief operating officer of The PRC Group, a construction, development, and property management firm based in Long Branch, a position he took in 2018 after serving for many years as chief operating officer and then president of Amboy Bank. He and his wife Gayle live in Sea Girt, where they are members of St. Mark Parish.
The Bank of Princeton – Corporate Citizen of the Year: At The Bank of Princeton, philanthropy is a core value. Since its founding in April 2007, the bank has grown to a $1.3 billion company with 150 employees at 14 branches stretching from Philadelphia to New Brunswick. With acquisitions and new construction in the works, the bank expects to launch seven new branches by year’s end. As the business has grown, so has its commitment to charitable giving, said bank President and CEO Edward J. Dietzler. The bank gave to more than 150 community groups and charities, from food pantries to medical treatment centers to arts and educational services, last year alone. Since 2008, the bank has generously supported Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton annually.
Jordan C. of Lakewood: Client Achievement Award. Jordan C. had a tough start in life, dropping out of school in the ninth grade and having a baby at 17. By 23, she was a single mother of three facing homelessness, so she reached out to Monmouth County social services for help. The county placed her in Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton’s Linkages program in Tinton Falls, which offers emergency transitional housing and wraparound services to help people overcome the hardships that led to their homelessness. Linkages represented a safe, stable home base while she pursued her general-equivalency degree and employment. After leaving Linkages, she got her driver’s license, became a certified nursing assistant, landed a job in January 2018, and regained custody of her oldest child, who was in his grandmother’s care, last August.