Giving Gala

By Dena Roché

Gala season is in full swing in the Valley of the Sun. While there are many philanthropic events slated, The Crozier Gala is one of themost anticipated of the year.
The 32nd annual Crozier Gala, originally scheduled for Saturday, April 25, at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch, was moved to Saturday, October 24. It’s the major annual fundraiser for the Catholic Community
Foundation. This year’s theme, Keeping the Faith, is a reminder that even in troubled global times, we can act locally to make a difference.
“We’re very excited that this year we have a Million Dollar Match program,” says Jill O’Sullivan, 2020 Crozier Gala chairwoman. “All proceeds from the gala will be matched by 50%.”
The proceeds from the Crozier Gala go to provide grants to local organizations that support the community in the areas of evangelization and sanctity of life, health and wellness, classroom needs, youth programs, art and culture, and work among the poor.
The gala helps fund nonprofits like Maggie’s Place, which provides housing and support for pregnant and parenting women. One recent woman who benefited from the Catholic Community Foundation’s support of Maggie’s
Place reflected on how the organization changed her life.
“When I first got to Maggie’s Place, I was desperate and had no hope for my life. I had no future,” says the woman, who chose to remain anonymous.
“I was thinking, ‘This is the end of my life.’ How could I take care of my baby if I couldn’t take care of myself? When I came to the house, I didn’t have anything. I only had my clothes and my shoes. At Maggie’s Place, my life changed. Maggie’s Place gave me hope that I could have a good life. Counseling encouraged me to change my mind and think positively. I started to think, “I can go back to school, I can find a job and I can take care of me and my baby.” I saw myself becoming a strong woman who could handle anything and who could resolve all the issues in my life.”
Money raised from a silent auction at the gala is also used for a need-based scholarship program designed to open access to Catholic education to all. The program funds two $17,000 scholarships at each Catholic elementary school in the Phoenix Diocese. Any remaining funds are used to support the foundation’s ongoing programming.
This year’s silent auction items will no doubt spur a lot of competition. Experiential packages like the “Wine and Dine Me,” where the winner and five friends will take a fourcourse, wine-paired culinary journey in the open chef’s kitchen at SWB at the Hyatt, are expected to be popular.
The black-tie event features Curtis Martin, founder of FOCUS Ministries, as the keynote speaker. FOCUS Ministries was founded in 1998 to reach and serve college students. Today there are hundreds of missionaries on campuses throughout the country. Martin is the author of the best-selling book “Made for More.”
Guests can dance the night away with music provided by Arizona country rock band Mogollon.
Individual tickets are $350, with a limited number of young professional tickets reserved for those younger than 35 available for $200. Sponsorship and underwriting opportunities are available from $3,000 to $50,000. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

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