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Bishop's Summer Reception Sees Greatest Success Since 2001

September 13, 2018


4th Annual Vita et Caritas Award given to Hamisi Juma of Safari Youth Club

(MANCHESTER, NH) – The 2018 Bishop’s Summer Reception to benefit the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund (BCAF) was held on September 6 on the grounds of St. Pius X Parish in Manchester. Attended by more than 350 guests, the Reception capped a successful campaign that raised over $234,000. This is the highest amount raised since the 2001 campaign. Now in its 33rd year, the BCAF has raised and distributed more than $6 million 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.

Following their success as co-chairs of last year’s campaign, Dan and Laurel Will of Loudon once again co-chaired the 2018 campaign. In his remarks at the event Dan noted, “Each year, the BCAF helps provide for the basic needs of New Hampshire residents. Food, clothing, shelter, and health care are offered to help sustain the lives of the women, children, and families who need it most. Over the years, hundreds of groups and organizations from all areas of our state have been empowered by gifts from the BCAF. These endorsements allow these groups, which are often smaller establishments with less of their own coverage or funding, to continue with the vital work that they provide for our communities. It is through this collaborative effort that the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund is able to help make a difference for the citizens of New Hampshire.”

In his remarks, Bishop Peter Libasci thanked those who donated to the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund, saying, “Since 1985, your gracious contributions have enabled us, together, to support the people and organizations responsible for making a difference in the lives of individuals and families in crisis. There are many in our state who need the nurturing embrace of the community around them, and each year you readily extend a helping hand. You’ve made a positive change in the lives of those among us who hunger and thirst, of those without home or shelter, and of those who are ill or frail.” 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 Hamisi Juma of Safari Youth Club in Manchester. 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 families. Hamisi came to Manchester after living for seven long years in refugee camps after having fled his native Congo during the country’s civil war. Now, Hamisi is one of the founders of the Safari Youth Club and has been executive director since 2014. The Club educates and empowers youth refugees and immigrants through sports and arts and provides training and mentoring to help youth reach all their goals in life. By providing a safe place and activities for children, Hamisi is serving the families of the community as they work to get jobs and acclimate to life in New Hampshire.

Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund Accepting Grant Applications

The Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund is accepting grant applications for the Fall 2018 review cycle. Applicants should submit a completed application and all required information no later than close of business on September 19, 2018. Information and an application are available on the Diocesan website, www.catholicnh.org/bcaf, or by calling 603-663-0166.

About the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund

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.

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PHOTO CUTLINE: L-R: Laurel Will, Bishop Libasci, and Dan Will at the BCAF Summer Reception (Photo by Jeff Dachowski).

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The Diocese of Manchester is the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire, serving the needs of nearly 235,000 Catholics. For more information, please visit www.catholicnh.org/overview.