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Feature News | Wednesday, May 15, 2024

‘Fun’draising at Cheers to Charity, Havana Nights

Events raise funds for needy of the archdiocese, and Catholic Charities’ Unaccompanied Minors Program

MIAMI | Cheers to Charity at Joe’s Stone Crab and Havana Nights, two major fundraisers organized by the Development Office of the Archdiocese of Miami, raised nearly $240,000 this year for archdiocesan causes.

Cheers to Charity celebrated its 13th anniversary on April 23, 2024, when 350 parishioners, clergy and staff, as well as Archbishop Thomas Wenski, gathered at Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach to dine for a good cause.

Since 2012 Cheers to Charity has raised more than $1 million for the charitable works of the archdiocese, which serve those most in need. This year, the sold-out event raised more than $210,000.

“Cheers to Charity at Joe’s Stone Crab is one of the most anticipated annual events of the Archdiocese of Miami,” said Katie Blanco Bourdeau, president of the archdiocese’s Development Corporation. “It is a great opportunity for our Catholic community to unite in fellowship and, of course, enjoy delicious stone crabs while also raising significant funds to support the charitable works of our local Church.”

Archbishop Thomas Wenski (center) greets guests at Cheers for Charity at Joe's Stone Crab on Miami Beach on April 23, 2024. Celebrating its 13th anniversary, the annual gathering raises funds for archdiocesan charities.

Photographer: COURTESY PHOTO

Archbishop Thomas Wenski (center) greets guests at Cheers for Charity at Joe's Stone Crab on Miami Beach on April 23, 2024. Celebrating its 13th anniversary, the annual gathering raises funds for archdiocesan charities.

On May 3, 2024, over 200 sponsors, parishioners, clergy and staff gathered for a taste of Cuban culture at Havana Nights. The event took place in the courtyard in front of the Chapel of Our Lady of La Merced, at Corpus Christi Church in Miami. The evening was filled with live entertainment, music by the duo Cortadito, Cuban cigars, Cuban food and drinks, and dominos.

Even Archbishop Wenski joined in on a few rounds of the traditional Cuban game.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski makes a move during a game of dominos at the annual Havana Nights fundraiser for Catholic Charities' Unaccompanied Minors Program. The event took place May 3, 2024, 
in the courtyard in front of the Chapel of Our Lady of La Merced, at Corpus Christi Church in Miami.

Photographer: TOM TRACY| FC

Archbishop Thomas Wenski makes a move during a game of dominos at the annual Havana Nights fundraiser for Catholic Charities' Unaccompanied Minors Program. The event took place May 3, 2024, in the courtyard in front of the Chapel of Our Lady of La Merced, at Corpus Christi Church in Miami.

“It was a great evening to reconnect with friends, smoke a few ‘puros’ and play dominos,” said the archbishop.

Havana Nights raised $29,000 to benefit Catholic Charities’ Unaccompanied Minors Program, which offers specialized shelter services for unaccompanied and undocumented minors while their immigration case is processed.

For many, the event brought back nostalgic memories of the Cuba of yesteryear, the archbishop added. “A few attendees left Cuba as part of the Pedro Pan operation in the early 1960s – and Havana Nights raised funds to support Catholic Charities in its continuing work with today’s unaccompanied minors, a work that began with Msgr. Bryan Walsh and Pedro Pan.”

Guests were also invited to tour the Chapel of Our Lady of La Merced, built in the Spanish Colonial style and filled with Spanish colonial works of art.

A special Thank you to our Havana Night Sponsors: Café La Llave Espresso, Don Francisco’s Coffee, TD Bank, Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Miami’, Juan & Laura Munilla, Alicio & Nirma Piña, The Zamora Family, Agrupación Católica Universitaria, EB5 Florida Hotels and Investments Regional Center LLC, Jason and Antonia Corteguera, Aurelio and Dina Mitjans, Noguera Family, Premia Global Advisors, The Kiwanis Club of Little Havana, Catholic Charities, Walton Lantaff Schroeder Carson LLP, ALLC Home Health, Our Lady of Charity, Miami Dade College, Sosa Cigars.




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