Black and White Gala set for Aug. 11


By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger

DAVENPORT — A celebration of life to support pro-life ministries will take place Aug. 11 at St. Ambrose University. The eighth annual Black and White Gala will feature Mass, a silent auction, gourmet dining, raffles and opportunities to learn about pro-life ministries.

This year’s host parish is St. Anthony in Davenport with assistance from the Black and White Advancement Team, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bettendorf and Our Lady of Victory and St. Paul the Apostle parishes in Davenport.

Anne Marie Amacher
Guests mingle during the Black and White Gala at St. Ambrose University’s Rogalski Center in 2015.

Charlene Merritt of the Black and White committee said this year’s theme is “You are the light of the world, let your light shine before all, so they may see the good that you do and give glory to God.”


Bishop Thomas Zinkula will celebrate Mass at 5:30 p.m. in Christ the King Chapel on campus.

Following Mass, bagpipers will lead participants to the Rogalski Center ballroom on campus. The gala begins around 6:30 p.m.

Merritt said the pro-life community has been hosting candlelight prayers for years and their ministries have been supported by special “lovers of life” who have been lighting candles rather than cursing the darkness. This year pro-lifers are celebrating the closure of several Planned Parenthood sites in Iowa. The Bettendorf clinic stopped regular services June 30, but continues to offer “telemed” abortions until the building is sold.

“We give thanks for God’s answer to constant prayers, for the faithfulness of so many steadfast souls who have stood firmly in the gap, and for the amazing accomplishments of our area pro-life ministries,” she said.

“We are sadly aware that Planned Parenthood is not going away, just changing their tactics and places. We all need to remain alert if we are to build and sustain the culture of life. We need the involvement and challenges of our spiritual leaders to never grow weary, to engage our young people, to grow the ranks of the joyful people of light and hope as we continue to shed the light of truth on the realities of this terrible blight (of abortion) on our children and society at large.”

“We look forward to another joy-filled event that will be attended by hundreds of the ‘light-hearted.’”

Some of the raffle prizes include a weeklong vacation at an RCI Network resort, $500 cash, a 50-inch flat screen television, $250 gas/food voucher and a sterling silver adorned rose quartz gemstone pendant. Tickets for the raffle are $5 each or 6 for $25. You do not have to be present to win.

The event is $30 per person by Aug. 7 by contacting Brad Merritt at (563) 529-1820 or by email at, or Nancy Gusse at (563) 386-1462 or Make checks payable to St. Anthony Parish.

Contact Brad Merritt or Nancy Gusse to sponsor a table for clergy or religious, to donate a gift or service for the silent auction or to buy raffle tickets.

Money raised will benefit Life and Family Trust’s Women’s Choice Center in Bettendorf, Birthright, Quad City Right to Life, Pregnancy Resources, Project Rachel, Youth for Life and other area pro-life ministries, Charlene Merritt said.

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