FACE is turning 39 this year. Planners are putting together a fabulous party at the Blackhawk Automotive Museum on May 20 to celebrate.
The need is great. More than 3,000 families — representing 4,500 children — have applied for FACE grants. Eligibility is being determined.
The annual gala is the main fundraising event for FACE. Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, plans to be there.
The automotive museum is a popular gathering place. "We're excited to be back, said Philip Toups, interim director of mission advancement for the Diocese of Oakland. "Everyone loves the venue."
The cars are a big attraction. The cocktail hour will provide an opportunity to be photographed with one of the collection's cool vehicles.
In addition to the surf and turf dinner, there will be raffles and auctions, both silent and live. Among the auction items will be a house in Kona for a week, a condo in Monterey for four nights, a baseball signed by Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants and a dinner hosted by Bishop Barber.
The most heartfelt moments of these annual events is the appearance of student speakers, who tell donors how FACE has made a difference in their lives.
A student speaker from Carondelet High School in Concord is expected this year.
Toups recalled a student speaker from a previous gala who told the gathering that going to Catholic school had been his parents' idea — and not one he favored.
The students he had traveled with before, he told the audience, had dropped out of high school, were in gangs and some in juvenile hall.
That's what his life would have been without FACE, he told the audience.
Attendees leave the event with the sense of having had a good time, for a good cause, Toups said.
"They have a sense of the impact on people's lives," Toups said. "You've made a difference, not just for the community but for the lives of individuals and their families."
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