Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Bishop’s Medal awarded to Catholic Charities volunteer Bob Hanson
the Inland Register
(From the May 18, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)
Bishop Skylstad presented the Bishop’s Medal this year to Bob Hanson. (IR photo from Catholic Charities)
One highlight of the annual Bishop’s Dinner for Catholic Charities is the awarding of the Bishop’s Medal, given to an individual in honor of their service and commitment to the work of the Catholic Church in Eastern Washington, particularly through Catholic Charities.
Recipient of this year’s medal was Bob Hanson, a longtime volunteer for the agency who also provided consistent support to his wife, Donna, director of the agency for 27 years.
Bishop William Skylstad said that Hanson “has been a tireless volunteer for Catholic Charities for many decades and has been a friend, a supporter, an advocate, and a cheerleader for the agency in more ways than we can count.”
Hanson’s involvement with Catholic Charities began when he asked the then-director, Father (now Monsignor) Frank Bach, to interview Donna for a job with the agency. Bob and Donna were dating, and he hoped to find a way for her to move to Spokane. Father Bach interviewed Donna, was impressed, and offered her the job.
Throughout her years of service to the agency, Bob provided strong and unwavering support. He drove the food truck for the House of Charity, stuffs envelopes as needed, delivers special event and campaign materials to area parishes, and continues to help out with the Emergency Winter Sleeping Program.
“He has been a consistent on-call volunteer,” said Bishop Skylstad. “No task is too menial or too repetitive for this hard-working and humble man … one of the most humble and generous people you may ever meet,” whose “passion for service to others and commitment to Catholic Charities” are remarkable.
Hanson is one of the very few people who has been present at every major Catholic Charities event for the last 40 years, said Bishop Skylstad.
The Bishop’s Dinner is one of four main events Catholic Charities hosts annually to raise funds for the agency’s 15 programs in Eastern Washington. Five years ago, the agency had 65 employees and a budget of $4 million; now Catholic Charities employs 220 people and oversees a budget of over $12 million. The new, state-of-the-art St. Anne Children and Family Center plays a big role in the expansion, as do housing projects for agricultural workers in Othello and Pasco.