Home » About » Stay Informed » Media Releases » Bishop's Charitable Assistance Fund Raises $255,000

Bishop's Charitable Assistance Fund Raises $255,000

September 14, 2022

Bishop's Charitable Assistance Fund Raises $255,000

Eighth Annual Vita et Caritas Award given to Dawn Longval,
President of Isaiah 61 Café in Laconia

(MANCHESTER, NH) – The 2022 Bishop’s Summer Reception to benefit the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund (BCAF) was held on September 8 on the grounds of St. Pius X Parish in Manchester. Attended by more than 300 guests, the Reception capped a successful campaign that raised more than $255,000. Now in its 37th year, the BCAF has raised and distributed more than $7,452,000 to assist organizations that improve the quality of life and provide the basic essentials for individuals and families in New Hampshire, especially the poor and disadvantaged.

Alex and Lisa Walker co-chaired the 2022 campaign. In his remarks at the event Alex, noted, “Our goal was $230,000, but tonight I am happy to announce that we have raised well over that amount, all due to the dedication and hard work of many of you here tonight. Thank you for your donations; they help so many people in need throughout the state. We deeply appreciate your dedication to the Fund, to the Bishop, and the Church.”

In his remarks, Bishop Peter Libasci thanked all those who donated to the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund, saying, “You have taken to heart the message of the Gospel and have shown compassion for the ‘least’ of our brother and sisters. My heart is deeply touched by the spirit of your generosity that is shown greatly in your generous donations tonight.” He also expressed his appreciation to the volunteer members of the campaign committee and the BCAF Board of Directors.

A highlight of the Summer Reception was the presentation of the annual Vita et Caritas Award to Dawn Longval. The award, given in memory of the late Ruthie Ford, recognizes a volunteer who demonstrates exceptional service to a non-profit organization assisting women, children and/or families.

It all began in 2017, when Dawn Longval and a few friends went to Rotary Park in Laconia every Wednesday (no matter the weather) and brought music, water, sandwiches, and love to the homeless and less fortunate families. Through this outreach, the homeless began to trust and appreciate their kindness and many became motivated to enter rehabs and change their lives for the better. This humble beginning encouraged Dawn and her husband, David, to purchase the building for Isaiah 61 Café with their own money and refitted it to fill the needs of the homeless and opened in June of 2018.

Isaiah 61 Café offers the homeless, or as they call them, “friends,” a continental breakfast, hot lunch, much needed bathroom facilities, hot showers, washers and dryers, and lockers to try to make up for all they lack. Isaiah 61 Café is 100% volunteer-based. They have around 32 volunteers and no one receives compensation, leaving 100% of donations to be used for their mission.

# # #

The Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund is a not-for-profit organization within the Catholic Church in New Hampshire. The Fund enables the Bishop of Manchester, through a volunteer board of directors, to make grants to not-for-profit organizations, without regard to religious affiliation, for projects that help people in New Hampshire meet their basic needs. The Bishop’s Summer Reception, begun in 1985, accepts donations that serve as the sole source of support for the Fund. For more information about the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund, visit www.catholicnh.org/bcaf.

The Diocese of Manchester is the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire, serving the needs of nearly 210,000 Catholics. For more information, please visit www.catholicnh.org/overview.

DOWNLOAD a photo 

PHOTO CUTLINE: Bishop Peter Libasci and Dawn Longval (Photo by Jeff Dachowski)