The 17th-annual Catholic Education dinner - GALA 22:6 - will be held on Thursday, Jan. 19, at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Proceeds from the dinner will be used to fund needs-based tuition assistance for students attending Catholic elementary schools throughout the eight counties of Western New York. The 2016 event raised more than $267,000.
The Bishop's Medal honorees to be recognized at the 2017 event are:
Robert T. Scott, who will be honored for his longstanding leadership at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute and for the wisdom he has shared in his work on the Catholic Schools Advisory Council. Countless young people throughout Western New York have benefited from his time-tested commitment to bettering their personal and educational lives.
M&T Bank and M&T Charitable Foundation, which maintained a steadfast support of Catholic education for many years, will also be honored. M&T leadership and its employees have partnered with the diocese on a number of educational initiatives, while also providing generous financial support, becoming a vital community partner.
The Buffalo Museum of Science has supported the STREAM initiative to demonstrate a testament to the power of partnerships in Catholic education. The organization has made a significant difference in diocesan Catholic schools by offering professional development for our school teachers; providing hands-on educational support for teachers and students; and working with the education department on the Finding Noah project.
Bishop Richard J. Malone, who will be marking his fifth year celebrating Catholic schools in the Diocese of Buffalo, will deliver the keynote address for the 2017 dinner.
Laura Zaepfel will serve as the chair of this year's dinner. As vice president of Corporate Relations at Uniland Development Company, Zaepfel works extensively with regional and governmental leaders and has an active role in community and business organizations that advocate for economic development. She also manages Uniland's corporate philanthropy program, maintaining the company's long tradition of community involvement and support.
Uniland is the lead sponsor for the 2017 dinner.
Formerly known as the Making a Difference Dinner, the event debuted as GALA 22:6 in 2015. The title is rooted in Proverbs 22:6 - "Train up children in a way they should go, and when they are old, they will not depart it," - which references the importance of educational formation in the lives of our young children.
This year's GALA 22:6 will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m.
For more information, to donate or for tickets, contact Laura DeMizio at 716-847-8373 or visit www.501auctions.com/gala226.