Nearly 150 people gathered from 26 towns and cities throughout Vermont to celebrate the third annual meeting of the Vermont Catholic Community Foundation on Sept. 13 at the Old Lantern Inn & Barn in Charlotte.

In less than three years the number of funds in the foundation has tripled and supports Catholic schools, parishes, cemeteries, ministries and charitable causes throughout Vermont (click to view 2019 annual report).

“The foundation is enjoying a period of robust growth, strong momentum and positive results,” said Jon Pizzagalli, board chair. “Today, there are nearly 70 funds and $18 million. We distributed $737,000 last year and are on course to distribute $1 million this year.”

The Vermont Catholic Community Foundation was incorporated in December 2015 with a mission to support, serve and otherwise benefit apostolic activities of the Church and make grants to nonprofit organizations reflecting the compassion of Christ in service to the community in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington and the State of Vermont.

The evening was a celebration not only of the growth of the foundation but also the good works happening in parishes, schools and outreach to those in need in the community.

Pizzagalli recognized the Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales HIS Pantry for its 26 years of service to the hungry in the Bennington community and awarded Holy Cross Father Bob Wiseman, pastor, and Ed and Phyllis Molloy, parishioners, with a $1,000 check to support HIS Pantry.

“HIS Pantry serves more than 200 families per month from Bennington and neighboring towns and the number of families needing this assistance has been steadily growing,” Pizzagalli said. “This $1,000 check should help provide a thousand lunches throughout the year.”

Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne honored families and individuals present who established funds in the foundation to support Catholic ministries and causes. They are:

+The Geigers who established the Matthew William Geiger ’91 Faith in Action Fund that honors the memory of Matthew and his charitable spirit by supporting the Campus Ministry program at Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington. It will assist service projects to the most vulnerable in the community.

+The Fitzgerald Family who doubled the size of the Fuller-Fitzgerald Scholarship Fund in the foundation last year as a gift to their mother increases financial aid to Rice students.

+The Germains who established the Jane and Maurice Germain Fund to provide financial aid to students at St. Francis Xavier School in Winooski, a school that brings Christ to one of the most ethnically and economically diverse populations in the Catholic community regardless of their ability to pay.

+The Mounts who established the David and Frances Mount Fund to support their parish, St. Joseph Cathedral, and a Catholic school.

“Finally, I would like to recognize a family that has supported the Catholic Church, our parishes and schools behind the scenes for many, many years. The Pizzagalli Family was one of the first families to put their trust and faith in the Vermont Catholic Community Foundation by establishing the Pizzagalli Fund in our first year to support religious and charitable purposes within the State of Vermont,” Bishop Coyne said. “This fund truly represents the overall mission of Vermont Community Foundation and through this fund we will honor their legacy for many years to come.”

A special thanks to the lead sponsor, Old Lantern Inn & Barn in Charlotte, and Misty Knoll Farms and Aquitaine Wine Company for helping make this a free event for the Catholic community.

To learn more about the foundation please visit: vtcatholicfoundation.org or contact Ellen Kane, Executive Director, at ekane@vermontcatholic.org.

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