Black and White Gala to raise funds for pro-life ministries


BETTENDORF — The annual “Black and White Gala – A Celebration of Life” to benefit life ministries will be held Aug. 23 at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. Mass begins at 5:30 p.m. in the church with Bishop Martin Amos presiding. The gala follows at 6:30 p.m. and dinner begins at 7:30 p.m. in the school gym.
This year’s event is sponsored by Our Lady of Lourdes in Bettendorf and Our Lady of the River Parish in LeClaire.
Charlene Merritt, one of the event’s organizers, said the goal of the celebration is to create a sense of unity and ecumenism among those in the bi-state area who are “in the trenches” and to share some fun while upholding the culture of life.
“This gift of celebration is bigger than us all.  It is a calling from our dear Lord himself. Life is to be celebrated in the purest way and from the center of our beings, and with all our hearts. Catholics have much to celebrate — their core connection with Jesus, who is light, love and life,” Merritt said.
God is calling us out in this time and in this place — the Davenport Deanery — and, in time, the entire Davenport Diocese, she said.  “He is calling us to celebrate his ‘Gift of Life’ and light a way to a complete understanding of what it means to create a culture of life that recognizes that all are created in the image of God. Although the human experience changes in size, age and condition, it is still God-life that permeates our very existence in this world.”
The gala event includes a raffle, silent auction, pro-life ministry presentations, entertainment, display on ministry materials and authentic Italian cuisine by Trattoria Tiramisu.
The raffle includes a first prize of a five-day/four-night stay in a luxury log home in the Colorado Rocky Mountains valued at $3,000. Second prize is a four-day/three-night stay in a condo in Branson, Mo., on the 13th fairway of StoneBridge Golf Course. Third prize is to record special memories with a professional event production by Scott Rodenburg Photography. Fourth prize is a hand-crocheted, 80-inch tablecloth. Fifth prize is a portable generator for camping or boating excursions. Tickets for the raffle are $5 each or five for $20. Raffle ticket holders need not be present to win.
Attire for the evening is black and white — casual to formal.
Cost to attend the gala is $20 per person. Seating is limited and reservations are due Aug. 15 by calling Brad Merritt at (563) 529-1820.
To donate a gift or service for the silent auction, call Brad Merritt.
For raffle tickets, call (563) 210-2143 or purchase them at the gala.

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