By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The public is invited to attend the Catholic Charities’ 34th Annual Green Tie Gala, on Friday, February 26, at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, 1700 N.E. 63rd St, Oklahoma City. The evening will begin at 6 p.m.
Gala festivities will include live and silent auctions, featuring international trips and NBA tickets, a wine and scotch pull and a Kendra Scott Jewelry pull. Musical entertainment will be provided by Norman’s popular 8-piece dance band, SquadLive.
Headquartered in Oklahoma City, with regional service locations in Ardmore, Clinton, Enid, Guymon and Lawton and program locations in Norman and Midwest City, Catholic Charities serves more than 13,000 Oklahomans annually.
This year’s event honorees are Smith and Kernke Funeral Directors, and David Morton, president and principal of Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School.
Morton began his teaching career at Christ the King Catholic School in Oklahoma City. He later joined the staff of Bishop McGuinness as a counselor, the boys and girl’s track and field coach, and cross-country coach. In 2001 Archbishop Eusebius Beltran named Morton the 12th principal of Bishop McGuinness.
While at Bishop McGuinness, Morton has received numerous awards and honors. They include Catholic School Educator of the Year, finalist for the National Catholic Education Association Secondary School Principal of the Year, Oklahoma High School Cross Country and Track and Field Hall of Fame inductee and the National Coach of the Year for Girls Cross Country.
“To my knowledge there is not another organization in Oklahoma City that deals with the needs for adoption services, the homeless, family and individual counseling, social justice, housing, education and so much more,” Morton said. “We are a stronger city because of Catholic Charities’ commitment to help all people from every walk of life.
“I am truly humbled to not only be considered, but to receive such and honor. As a school counselor and now administrator, my job has been made easier due to my relationship with Catholic Charities.”’
For the first time, this year an organization will be honored with the Mosaic Award. It recognizes an organization that demonstrates through partnership or direct program involvement, its commitment to helping Catholic Charities fulfill its mission of providing help and hope to all.
The 2016 Mosaic Award will be presented to Smith and Kernke Funeral Homes and Crematory. Family-owned and operated for more than 75 years, Smith and Kernke and its president, Joe Kernke, have provided essential support to Catholic Charities and its programs.
“Supporting the Green Tie Gala is to enjoy a fun and festive event that nonetheless is primarily about helping women and children dealing with homelessness,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Patrick Raglow.
“The Gala’s proceeds ensure our Holy Family Home and our Sanctuary Women’s Development Centers can meet their needs in the coming year. Please join us and have a great time helping those in need!”
Proceeds from the Gala will benefit homeless women and children through Catholic Charities’ Sanctuary Women’s Development Centers in Oklahoma City and Norman, and Holy Family Home in Midwest City.
The Sanctuary Women’s Development Centers offer social services that help restore feelings of self-worth, confidence and dignity to homeless and at-risk women. The Sanctuary offers access to phones and computers for job searches, job and life skills development, counseling, linkage to community resources as well as a shower and a laundry facility.
The Holy Family Home provides a community living environment for up to 20 women and children, giving them an opportunity to establish a plan of action for overcoming barriers to success. Clients stay at the home for three months to two years, as they work to become selfsufficient.
Tickets for the dinner gala are $200 each and sponsorships are also available.
For more information about sponsorships, to purchase tickets or to make a donation, contact Christopher Cowden at 405-523-3009 or visit GreenTieGala.org.
To learn more about Catholic Charities, visit www.catholiccharitiesok.org.