christmas 2010 partners in giving

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Christmas 2010 issue of Partners in Giving, the bi-monthly publication of the Salesian Sisters Eastern Province


  • PARTNERS IN GIVINGDevelopment Office of the Salesian Sisters

    Daughters of Mary Help of


    Joy to the World!

  • Sr. Marys Rinaldis

    LetterDear Friends,

    In this 120th issue of Partners In Giving, we mark 20 years of arriving in your homes and places of work with our story. Our cover photograph expresses our ongoing mission in the wondrous innocence and spontaneous joy of a child, nurtured in the knowledge that he or she is a child of God worthy of every dignity and blessing. We make a real difference in the lives of young people, every day thanks to each and every one of YOU. On to the next 20 years!

    One of our sustaining blessings is the Partners Circle, founded at the very beginning of our Development Office as the basis of unrestricted funds to help where the need is greatest. Next year, 2011, is the 20th year of its founding, and we will launch and encourage the next generation of Partners Circle members! In this issue of Partners in Giving, we begin the celebration with two new features: Thank You, Partners! (page 3) and Partner Profiles (page 12).

    Our two annual celebrations, the Thanksgiving Basket in the South (pages 4-5) and the Mary Help Gala in the North (pages 6-9), were resounding successes in fact, each set a fundraising record, reflecting your incredible generosity for our mission in spite of these challenging times. THANK YOU! An added bonus: Richard Gonzmart, of the Columbia Restaurant Family, decided to honor the legacy of his late mother, Mrs. Adela Gonzmart, with a memorial scholarship at Villa Madonna School. Hurray! See page 20.

    Theres even more good news to share: the most magnificent opportunity has just been presented to us in the form of a matching gift directed entirely to help children. We need to hurry: this match expires on Christmas Day! See page 10 for details.

    A blessed Christmas and a glorious New Year to all!


    2 Partners in Giving Volume XX Issue 6 Please call us toll-free: 877-OUR-NUNS

    In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the home of the Salesians Sisters (above) has been repaired. In Petionville, the Sisters and lay residents have moved into a new residence, dubbed Casa Di Familia

    (Family House).

    The Provincial House (below), which hosts an orphanage of boys and girls, has been repaired. In Cit Militaire, the home of the Sisters has been repaired, and the chapel and the computer room,

    which collapsed during the earthquake, will be restored soon. All of this has been accomplished through the generosity of donors, including the Salesian Sisters Partners Circle.

    Our Sisters in Haiti say with joy, Grand Merci nos Bienfaiteurs!

  • Visit us online! Partners in Giving Christmas 2010 3

    Thank You, Partners!

    When a massive earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, Salesian Sisters across the world felt the loss deeply, and immediately mobilized to help the survivors and restore the Sisters mission in Haiti. Here in the Eastern Province, the Salesian Sisters Partners Circle rallied, raising more than $175,000 in an emergency appeal.

    Nearly one year since the earthquake, the Salesian Sisters in Haiti report much progress. Recently, Sr. Suzanne Garon received news from Rhodes Jules Garon, the mother of one of the girls from Haiti currently attending Mary Help of Christians Academy. Haiti as a whole is still experiencing the unknown, Rhodes says. No one has seen the construction promised by the international financial aid. The lack of infrastructure, unsafe places, overcrowding in camps, and now cholera makes all solutions difficult.

    But in contrast, the Salesian Sisters in Haiti have almost completed the construction of temporary facilities, despite the delays, as you can see from these photos. Fortunately our donors were mobilized from the very beginning, and we would like to thank all the people who support us.

    The Salesian Sisters Partners Circle remains a key partner of the Haitian Salesian Sisters, Rhodes says. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

    Thank you, Partners! Wont you join the Salesian Sisters Partners Circle to provide unrestricted funds for urgent needs of the Salesian Sisters and their mission? We are seeking the next generation of members in our 20th anniversary year. Please see pages 12-15.

    Salesian Sisters Report Progress in Haiti

    Thanks to support from our donors, three Salesian schools in Haiti which sustained damage during the January 2010 earthquake are being repaired,

    and children have returned to school.

    In Kenscoff, Haiti, the Salesian Sisters work at a school/orphanage which receives about 800 local boys and girls (over half of whom are orphans).

  • 4 Partners in Giving Volume XX Issue 6 Please call us toll-free: 877-OUR-NUNS

    Making Headlines Around the Province

    Thanksgiving and Flamenco in Tampa!

    Above, the Thanksgiving Basket Committee who worked so hard for a great event: (left to right) Kathy Pedrero, Jamie McGrogan, Denise Cano, Dolly Duffy, Jenni Neal, Andrea Farrier, Christine Franco, Melissa Barile, Diana Ekonomou, Theresa Anderson,

    and Yoli Buss. Not pictured: Christy DeNovellis.

    At right, along with the Flamenco dancers of the Columbia Restaurant, Villa Madonna School offered its own Flamenco dancer the beautiful and graceful Maria Cacciatore, daughter of Mark and Cecelia Cacciatore!

    The 7th Annual Thanksgiving Basket was held on November 6 at the Salesian Youth Center in Tampa, FL. This years event honored Richard Gonzmart of Columbia Restaurant, who spoke with passion about the impact that the late N.Y. Yankees owner and Tampa resident George Steinbrenner had on his life, and encouraged the guests to make a difference for the children (an excerpt is included at right). Richard also brought along the Columbia Restaurant, complete with tapas and wine, a sit-down dinner, and flamenco show! After collecting items all year and putting together baskets and silent auction items, the Thanksgiving Basket Committee raised the most ever for the children of the Salesian Youth Center and Villa Madonna School! Thank you, all!

    Honoree Richard Gonzmart and his wife, Melanie, presents a surprise to Sr. Helen Godin: a yearly scholarship in memory of his mother, Adela Hernandez Gonzmart, which will give a child from the Salesian Youth Center the opportunity

    to attend Villa Madonna School.

  • Visit us online! Partners in Giving Christmas 2010 5

    I never like to use the words I am realistic. The fact is, great leaders and great achievers like Mr. George Steinbrenner are rarely realistic, at least by other peoples standards. Somehow these people, often describedas strange, find their way through life, ignoring or nothearing negative comments or expectations. They accom-plish one great thing after another, never hearing the words, It cant be done. This is why we should never tell a young person something cant be done. God may have been waiting for centuries for their contribution to mankind.

    Sooner or later every man of character will have his character questioned. Every man of honor and courage will be faced

    with unjust criticism, but NEVER forget that unjust criticism has no impact whatsoever upon the truth. And the only way to avoid criticism is to do NOTHING and be NOTHING!

    Public opinion often sways back and forth, but right and wrong does not. We must work to elevate people. We often wonder if God is on our side, but the real question we need to ask ourselves is whether we are on Gods side . . . God has blessed me beyond my dreams, and for this I am grateful. Its important to share my blessing with others in need. Life is a privilege, but to live life to its fullest, well, that is a choice, too.

    I greet each day with laughter. I try to smile at everyone I meet. I pray daily for a grateful spirit. I choose today and every day to be happy. I wake up each morning excited about the new day and all the opportunities that exist, and then I lay my head down on my pillow at night happily exhausted, knowing that I have done everything within my power to move the mountains in my path.

    Richard Gonzmart

    Honoree Richard Gonzmart gave a motivational and very moving talk, beside a photo of him and George Steinbrenner.

    Melissa Barile, Dolly Duffy, Colleen Duffy, Jenni Neal, and her mother, Marcia Williams, enjoy the party!

    Everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving Basket, including A.J. Cacciatore and Dr. Jack Guggino.

    Dr. Bill and Mrs. Jamie McGrogan won a beautiful print of the Columbia Restaurant!

  • 6 Partners in Giving Volume XX Issue 6 Please call us toll-free: 877-OUR-NUNS

    Making Headlines Around the Province

    The Mary Help Gala was the Bees Knees!

    On October 27, more than 320 friends and supporters of Mary Help of Christians Academy came together at The Venetian in Garfield, NJ, for their annual gala fundraiser. This years theme, An Exciting Evening in the Roaring 20s, was the cats meow! Guests came adorned in flapper dresses, feather boas, 1920s hairstyles and makeup, while enjoying Prohibition cocktails, the professional ballroom dancers who lit up the dance floor with the Jitterbug and Charleston, and fun musical hits from the era. The evening was surely Puttin on the Ritz!

    The highlight of the night was the award presentation to the Galas distinguished honorees: Bishop Frank J. Rodimer of the Diocese of Paterson, NJ; and Jimmy and Ellen Greenbaum and Susan Greenbaum Gross of Greenbaum Interiors in Paterson