Underserved kids who have lost everything gain a week of happiness at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Circle V Ranch Camp each summer.
To support the camp and its young clientele, the May 29 “Mardi Gras in May” benefit dinner & awards ceremony at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles raised funds to send 1,200 children to camp this summer.
Additionally, the event honored Bishop Gordon D. Bennett, Deborah Estes, the Polenzani Family and Shoe Palace for their service to the Church and community.
Bishop Bennett, a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), is a product of Los Angeles marking his golden jubilee in 2014. The former president of Loyola High School served as an auxiliary bishop of Baltimore and bishop of Mandeville, Jamaica, before he retired, and has extensive experience in educational administration, cultural diversity, church leadership and Ignition spirituality and formation.
Estes is chair and president of Specialty Family Foundation, which seeks to alleviate the conditions that lead to persistent poverty, primarily expanding educational opportunities in low-income communities and treatment for substance abuse and alcoholism.
Tom Polenzani, founder of Polenzani Benefits, and Elizabeth Polenzani, professor emeritus at Pasadena City College, live lives guided by service to their community. Their affiliations include the Red Cross, United Way, City of Hope, Child Care Information Service and St. Elizabeth Church.
KCAL-TV journalist Sylvia Lopez served as emcee for the event.