Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Caring for Kids luncheon raises over $56,000 for Morning Star, Boys’ Ranch, St. Anne Children and Family Center

the Inland Register

(From the Nov. 10, 2005 edition of the Inland Register)

The annual Caring for Kids luncheon raised over $56,000 this year for Morning Star Boys’ Ranch and St. Anne Children and Family Center. Masters of Ceremony for the event were Stephanie Vigil and Dan Kleckner of KHQ-TV. From left: Vigil; Father Joseph Weitensteiner of Morning Star Boys’ Ranch; Dan Kleckner; Dr. Kent Hoffman, guest speaker for the luncheon; Rob McCann, Bishop’s Secretary for Social Ministries and Executive Director of Catholic Charities; Lee Williams, St. Anne Children and Family Center; and Bonnie Deabler, Childbirth and Parenting Alone Program. (IR photo from Catholic Charities)

The annual Caring for Kids luncheon was held Sept. 27 at the Red Lion Inn at the Park, Spokane, attended by more than 400 people who helped raise over $56,000 for St. Anne Children and Family Center and Morning Star Boys’ Ranch.

Video testimonials by KHQ-TV describing the effect that the two organizations have had on people’s lives. Among those speaking were Pete Whipple, who spent 10 years at Morning Star, and Catherine Acevedo, a woman currently receiving services at St. Anne.

The main speaker for this year’s luncheon was Dr. Kent Hoffman, a mental health therapist for over 30 years. Dr. Hoffman spoke of the importance of taking care of the children inside all people. He framed his remarks with references to the late Donna Hanson, who for the past 27 years has been the Director of Catholic Charities. According to Dr. Hoffman, Hanson continually invited us into a deeper relationship with God, one in which we “don’t question our worthiness, but instead acknowledge our loveableness, seeing ourselves as God sees us.”

Dr. Hoffman, a volunteer with Catholic Charities’ Childbirth and Parenting Alone (CAPA) Doula project, said that all people are struggling, and that many of those who struggle most deeply are never recognized.

The Doula program allows young, single mothers, some of whom have never been recognized themselves, to gain recognition from their Doulas and to learn to offer it to their children. The Doulas act as God’s arms in offering mother and child “the tender care that nothing and no one be lost.”

For some 50 years, Morning Star Boys’ Ranch has made sure that nearly 1,400 neglected or pre-delinquent boys have not been lost or slipped through society’s cracks. Many Ranch alumni have come forward to publicly acknowledge their debt to the Ranch and to the Ranch’s director, Father Joseph Weitensteiner, without whom they would be “in prison, or worse.”

St. Anne Children and Family Center has been “Cherishing Children, Embracing Families” since 1943. The new St. Anne facility, located at 5th and Browne in downtown Spokane, offers licensed child care for 200 children, the Childbirth and Parenting Alone (CAPA) Program, and the Cuddles & Care Program, sponsored by Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital.

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