Bunny Bastian Lives the Spirit of Charity

Bob and Jodi Dickinson, Bunny Bastian, Archbishop Favalora, Marina and Emilio Alonso-Mendoza

On Saturday, October 20, 650 leading members of the community gathered at the Doral Resort & Spa for the annual Spirit of Charity Gala, hosted by Catholic Charities. The evening belonged to long-time benefactor and philanthropist, Mrs. Bunny Bastian, who was honored with the Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh Award. In his remarks Archbishop John C. Favalora said, “She truly lives and gives us all an inspiration, and demonstrates what the spirit of charity is all about.”

Mrs. Bastian has been guided by a sense of justice, duty and love for her fellow man all her life. She and her husband, the late James Bastian, moved to Coral Gables in 1984. Since then she has been involved in a number of organizations in the Miami Area.

This Spirit of Charity Gala benefits Catholic Charities, which helps those most in need in South Florida, including the elderly, children and families, disabled, immigrants, the homeless, and all those who do not have a voice. Portions from this year’s gala will be dedicated to the new Intergenerational Day Care Center in Hollywood. The co-chairs of this year’s Gala were Robert & Brenda Castellano, Robert & Jodi Dickinson and Paul & Swanee DiMare.

Paul and Swanee DiMare

Archbishop John C. Favalora also addressed the guests with a hopeful message that praised the extraordinary efforts of Catholic Charities to help the neediest in South Florida over the last 75 years, and looked forward to the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Miami Archdiocese in October 2008. The dinner was followed by dancing, with live music provided by City Lights.

Catholic Charities is one of the oldest charitable organizations in the state of Florida. For over 75 years, it has helped all those in need regardless of age, religion, ethnicity, immigration status, financial status, or sexual orientation. Catholic Charities receives over $35 million in private and public donations annually. In past years, these funds have provided help and support for: child welfare services; individual, marriage & family counseling, substance abuse prevention & treatment; child care & development programs, HIV/AIDS prevention and support programs; housing for homeless, elderly and disabled individuals; emergency financial assistance; social advocacy; services for newly arrived refugees, and more.

Robert and Brenda Nestor Castellano

About Catholic Charities

Rising out of the desire to help the neediest and most vulnerable in the community according to the teachings of the Church, Catholic Charities was established in 1931 in response to the Great Depression. The purpose of the organization is to serve and protect everyone regardless of race, gender, religion, ethnicity nationality, sexual preference or immigration status. Catholic Charities receives over $35 million in funding from public and private grants, the United Way of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, individuals, and the faithful of the Archdiocese of Miami. All but 3% of donations are spent on delivering and administrating service to those in needs. For more information on Catholic Charities, call (305) 762-1051.

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