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Visitation House Holds its 9th Annual Fundraising Dinner

Posted By April 7, 2014 | 11:02 am | Local
Gary Cangemi
Gary Cangemi

The annual Visitation House fundraising dinner will feature long-time pro-life advocate Gary Cangemi as the keynote speaker and honor Dr. John Howland with the 2014 Ruth V.K. Pakaluk Award.
Thursday’s event  is in support of the home on 119 Endicott St., Worcester, that welcomes homeless, pregnant women in crisis.
Dinner will be from 5:30-9 pm at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish Center in Worcester.
“It’s a great night of fun and Christian fellowship that everyone really looks forward to,” says Eve Lindquist, executive director of Visitation House.
There is no cost to attend the fundraiser.  Dinner is provided by those who volunteer to host a table and cook for 8-10 people they invite to join them; dinner guests are asked to make a free will donation to Visitation House during the course of the evening.  This year will be the largest attendance ever. With 43 hosted tables confirmed, anyone interested in attending the dinner may contact Mrs. Lindquist at evelindquist@visitationhouse.org, and she will  place them at a hosted table.
The Visitation House dinner has attracted a great line-up of nationally known speakers over the years, and this year is no exception.
“We’re excited to have long-time pro-life advocate, Gary Cangemi, as the keynote speaker at our dinner,” says Mrs. Lindquist.  “Since 2001, Gary has embarked on a novel approach to spreading the pro-life message, and we look forward to him sharing his insights.”
Mr. Cangemi is the creator of a pro-life comic strip, Umbert the Unborn, which has appeared in more than 100 publications worldwide.
Among the honored guests will be Bishop Robert J. McManus, and Bishop Daniel P. Reilly, along with clergy from the Worcester Diocese.
One of the traditions at the annual dinner is to present an award to an outstanding benefactor of Visitation House.  The award is named in honor of Ruth V.K. Pakaluk, a local prolife advocate and mother of seven, who in the late 1990s envisioned the need for a home like Visitation House in the Worcester area.  After her untimely death from breast cancer in 1998 at the age of 41, Ruth’s friends formed a committee to investigate the possibility of opening such a home to care for women who are homeless and pregnant.  As a result of Ruth’s vision and their efforts, Visitation House opened on the Feast of the Visitation, on May 31, 2005.
The 2014 Ruth V.K. Pakaluk Award will be presented to Dr. Howland who has shown an amazing dedication to community service throughout his career.  He was one of the founding board members of Visitation House and, while serving, he was instrumental in setting up policies, procedures, and programming for this life-saving ministry.
Visitation House, the only Catholic home of its kind in Massachusetts, provides a safe and supportive living environment for young mothers and their newborns.  Mothers are able to stay at the house while they are pregnant and for up to 6 months after their baby is born, giving them a chance to adjust to motherhood.  The house is staffed 24/7, and women are coached in numerous life skills to assist them in becoming independent and successful mothers.  In its nine years of operation, Visitation House has been a safe haven for 172 women.