Bishop’s Christmas Luncheon

The Bishop’s Christmas Luncheon held Dec. 13 at Russo’s on the Bay, Howard Beach, raised more than $800,000 for scholarships to Catholic elementary schools in Brooklyn and Queens.  The event raised $534,926, which was generously matched by The Children’s Scholarship Fund on a 1:2 basis. Over 750 people took part in this Christmas tradition sponsored by the diocese’s Alive in Hope Foundation. Since its founding in 1998, the Foundation has awarded over $28 million in grants, scholarships and assistance in Brooklyn and Queens.  This year’s luncheon was dedicated to the memory of Susan Rohan, one of the founding members of the Bishop’s Christmas Luncheon. Honorees were: Martin J. Cottingham, managing director of  Grubb & Ellis, the Blessed John Paul II Distinguished Stewardship Award, for his commitment to bringing Catholic education to the neediest children in our community; Clarissa Elgarten, board member of Futures in Education, the Emma A. Daniels Benefactor’s Award for her generosity and leadership to the Be an Angel Program; and Joseph Ferrara, chief executive officer of Ferrara Brothers Building Materials Corporation, the Spirit of Hope Award for outstanding generosity in helping the Catholic Church to continue its mission to help the poor, work for justice, care for our seminarians and retired priests and provide programs of education and formation for all ages.  The honorary co-chairs were Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, Vicar for Development. The Chair for the Luncheon was Mary Ann Mattone, and the Master of Ceremonies was Maurice DuBois, co-anchor of CBS 2 News.