(August 22, 2019 – BALTIMORE, Md.) One of Baltimore’s legendary stages will light up with powerful testaments to service on Oct. 22 when two of the area’s best-known leaders and one movingly committed teenager are honored at “A Movement to Love: An Evening with Catholic Charities” at the Hippodrome Theatre.

Ralph W. "Buddy" Emerson

Ralph W. “Buddy” Emerson

Distinguished Service Award

In gratitude for more than 30 years of exemplary and humble service to Catholic Charities that includes volunteerism, philanthropy, board membership and enduring dedication, retired M&T Bank Senior Vice President Ralph W. “Buddy” Emerson will receive the Distinguished Service Award. This award is given to an individual or group who exemplifies and significantly supports compassionate caregiving and service through personal commitment to Catholic Charities’ work.

Msgr. Arthur F. Valenzano Joyful Servant Award

Sr. Helen Amos, RSM, will be presented with the Msgr. Arthur F. Valenzano Joyful Servant Award. Sr. Helen serves as the executive chair of the Mercy Health Services Board of Trustees. She has spent nearly a decade working tirelessly on The Journey Home, a plan to end homelessness in Baltimore. She chairs the city’s Leadership Advisory Group dedicated that cause. Commissioned to recognize a joyful life and spirit in service, the award honors the spirit of the late rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who served on the Catholic Charities Board of Trustees until his passing in 2015.

Anne Lindsey Otenasek Youth Service Award

The Anne Lindsey Otenasek Youth Service Award will go to 18-year-old Lauren Cole. Her baking hobby became a labor of love given to My Sister’s Place Women’s Center, Catholic Charities’ day shelter providing services and resources to women and children experiencing poverty and homelessness in Baltimore City. Cole started bringing desserts to the center with her friends when she was 14, and one day encountered a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. She was moved to compassion for women recovering from addiction, and has brought the group her homemade baked goods and hand-crafted menus every week since. The award is in memory of another teen and longtime Catholic Charities volunteer who was lost in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988.

“I’m deeply humbled to recognize Buddy, Sr. Helen and Lauren,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Bill McCarthy. “They are beautiful examples of the quiet and powerful ways we can serve our communities. They are part of our movement to improve lives, and they teach us all what that love looks like.”

A Movement to Love

“A Movement to Love: An Evening with Catholic Charities” is a shared celebration recognizing those who serve and those who are served as individuals of value and dignity, with special thanks to those who support the organization’s work. Consistently ranked one of the Baltimore area’s top workplaces, Catholic Charities will also honor five employees with its Mission in Action Award for extraordinary dedication to its mission: Agatha Callahan, Mikael Kristiansen, Kevin Mason, Denine Rafus and Tazaa Sweeney.

The evening includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, drinks, dessert, and free parking. Tickets are available at catholiccharities-md.org/annualcelebration.