GALA 22:6 celebrates Catholic Education

Wed, Dec 26th 2018 08:00 am
Colleen Milette
Colleen Milette

The 19th annual Catholic education dinner - GALA 22:6 - will be held Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019, 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 2018 dinner raised $353,708 resulting in 295 scholarships created.

The two Bishop's Medal "Champions of Education" honorees to be recognized at the 2019 event are:

Katherine Juhasz - Since the inception of Gala 22:6 in 2001, Katherine Juhasz has served on the dinner committee and helped to raise over $4 million dollars. She has provided significant financial support to the dinner personally and through her family foundation. She is a member of the Bishop's Council of the Laity, Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre, and is currently president of the Kenneth L. and Katherine G. Koessler Family Foundation.

John C. Dwyer - John Dwyer has embraced the spirit of Catholic education in Batavia by helping to raise $330,000 to keep Catholic education vibrant in Genesee County. He is recognized as a leader in the Catholic community in the Batavia area and in the business community at large. Dwyer served a three-year term on the senior alumni board at Notre Dame University and now serves on the Bishop's Council of the Laity as well as on the Diocese Catholic Schools Advisory Council.

The recipient of Tim Russert's Sister Lucille Socciarelli and Father John Sturm Making a Difference Award will be Colleen Milette, a pre-K 3 teacher who has worked at St. Amelia School in Tonawanda for her entire 22-year career in Catholic education.

The 2019 winner of the Natalie Mattimore Lewis Kindness Counts Character award will be announced closer to the date of the dinner.

Kathleen and Tom Christy, parishioners at St. Amelia's in Tonawanda, are this year's dinner chair couple.

Formerly known as the Making a Difference Dinner, the event debuted as GALA 22:6 in 2015. The dinner 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.

The 2019 GALA 22:6 will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. Event sponsors include the Diocese of Buffalo Chancery; Maid of the Mist; Buffalo Dental Group; Lawley; The Habib Charitable Fund; Connors, LLP; Krisits & Associates CPA's PLLC; Personal Touch Food Service; The Martin Group; and The Kenneth & Katherine G. Koessler Family Foundation.

For more information, to donate or to purchase tickets, contact Laura DeMizio, special events coordinator of the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, at 716-847-8373 or visit   

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