Seventeen years ago Naperville resident Ray Jones became the founding chairman of Light the Way, a benefit hosted by Ss. Peter and Paul Parish every December. Since that first year, the annual social, auction and fundraiser has raised $1.5 million for various good causes.
“Light the Way is always the first Thursday in December, it’s always had a cause and it’s always cost $100 per person,” said Jones on Wednesday during a check presentation at the Ss. Peter and Paul Parish House.
“We’ve kept the price the same every year and the event at Cress Creek Country Club usually attracts about 170 people as well as sponsorship by local merchants, vendors and personal donations from parishioners,” said Jones, noting his committee is usually four to six individuals. “And this year we’re giving checks of $14, 503 to three different beneficiaries.”
With Father Tom Molita in attendance as well as representatives from the nonprofit organizations, proceeds from the 2013 Light the Way were presented to Naperville Responds for Our Veterans, Waterleaf Women’s Center in Aurora, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Naperville.
“We are truly honored to receive a donation of this magnitude from Ss. Peter and Paul,” said Pat Bowler, President of Naperville Responds for Our Veterans, a group of volunteers that provides help and services for veterans with unmet home maintenance needs.
“It’s our aim to make the veterans lives a little easier in return for all that they’ve done by serving our country.”
Kelly Gorsky, Executive Director of Waterleaf Women’s Center, also noted great appreciation for the generous and timely gift.
“Next month, we’re moving to a new location down the street,” said Gorsky. “This donation will go a long way to help us in our larger space.”
After nearly five years at the corner of Eola and New York Street, Waterleaf Women’s Center has out-grown its quarters. The nonprofit unplanned pregnancy help service that provides confidential counseling will reopen its doors on March 15 at 3598 E. New York Street in Aurora.
The donation to the Society of St. Vincent will provide funds for rent, food and to help restore lives when individuals and families are faced with domestic disasters.
Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church is located at 36 N. Ellsworth. For more information, visit www.sspeterandpaul.net.