Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond welcomed guests into his South Carrollton Avenue home on May 5 for the Archbishop’s Community Appeal Reception. Attendants enjoyed a selection of wine, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres catered by Rosanne Mitchell. There was also a small service lead by Archbishop Aymond to recognize volunteers celebrating milestone years of service. One such volunteer was Joe Canizaro, celebrating his 35th year of service with Catholic Charities.

The Archbishop’s Community Appeal began in 1966 after Hurricane Betsy hit New Orleans. The devastation led then-Archbishop Philip M. Hannan to start an outreach program benefitting New Orleanians of all creeds and religions. Archbishop Hannan’s leadership saw the founding of numerous outreach programs, some of them the first
of their kind in the nation.

As its name suggests, the event is held to appeal to the community for support, but it’s also a chance to thank those who were generous in donating their time, money and effort. One notable benefactor was the ACA’s chairwoman for 2009, Rita Benson LeBlanc, who famously donated six Super Bowl tickets. The tickets were then raffled, raising $210,000. LeBlanc’s generous donation and many others helped the ACA to raise a staggering $1.7 million.