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Out & About: 2018 Communities of Salt and Light Awards Dinner presented by Catholic Charities

April 23, 2018 GMT

Extra prayers were said on April 19 before the 2018 Communities of Salt and Light Awards Dinner, when a power outage struck Stratigos Banquet Centre in North Huntingdon just as final preparations were underway.

The annual dinner is presented by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Greensburg.

No need to order pizza for the crowd of 460, as lights and heat came back as guests began to arrive. Kitchen staff carried on with the help of a generator and servers greeted early arrivals with trays of hors d’oeuvres.

It was a good thing, too, as dinner attendance “set an all-time record by a lot,” according to Jerry Zufelt, communications manager for the diocese.

Since 1999, the dinner has raised more than $1 million for Catholic Charities, which assists needy people in the four-county diocese, and recognizes individuals and groups who carry out the work. This year’s honors were:

Humanitarian award:Paul Whalen, of St. Paul Parish in Greensburg, whose efforts include initiating the annual Walk for the Poor in Twin Lakes Park.

Philanthropy:Thomas and Alice Zaucha, of St. Thomas Moore University Parish in Indiana, Indiana County, for fundraising, donations and leadership in their parish.

Outstanding Human Services Organization:Westmoreland County Drug Overdose Task Force, represented by director Timothy Phillips, for efforts to combat the opioid crisis.

On the guest list: Monsignor Raymond Riffle, Bishop Edward Malesic, Richard dand Joanna Stillwagon, David dand Debbie Delisi, Dr. Ralph dand Janet May, Charles dand Sharon Deluzio, Tay dand Brenda Waltenbaugh, Kenneth Shimko dand Molly Robb Shimko, Kenny dand Audrey Glick, Jeff dand Stephanie Peterinelli, Bob Chappell, Matt dand Connie Shirey, James dand Ashley Patterson, Heather Rady dand Bob Turner, Doreen Blandino, Suzanne English and Denny dand Pam Flynn.

— Shirley McMarlin