Every year, Episcopal Charities hosts our annual Tribute Dinner, a celebration of two distinguished honorees and the vital work being done by parishes across the diocese. This year, with 820 people in attendance, Episcopal Charities honored Martin J. Sullivan, an Operating Partner at Lightyear Capital, and Owen D. Thomas, Chief Executive Officer at Boston Properties. The evening, which took place in the beautiful Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, raised a record 1.5 million dollars—a $400,000 increase from last year—the proceeds of which will be used to fund outreach projects serving people in need.
Both of the night’s honorees are men who have demonstrated leadership both in their professional lives and in their charitable activities. Martin Sullivan was honored for his work on behalf of various not-for-profit organizations, including Episcopal Charities: he served on our Board of Directors for six years. In accepting his award, he congratulated Episcopal Charities on having “one of the hardest-working boards that I’ve seen in the not-for-profit world” and thanked them for their work providing “much-needed support to the most needy and vulnerable in our community.” Owen Thomas was honored for his lifetime of charitable efforts and his lay leadership at Christ Church Bronxville, where he serves as Junior Warden. In expressing what Episcopal Charities has meant to him, he said, “Throughout my life, I have always admired and been drawn to the Episcopal Church for its leadership and inclusion for all, regardless of background. Episcopal Charities provides the example of giving and caring for those most in need, welcoming one and all.”
The evening was also graced with the voices of students from Young at Arts, an arts education program founded by Christ Church Bronxville and funded by Episcopal Charities, who performed a set of traditional American folk songs and gospel music. Jaela Cheeks-Lomax, an alumna of Young at arts who is now a professional actress and singer, spoke about the program’s impact on her life and the importance of Episcopal Charities’ work. “My relationship with Young at Arts has been one of the strongest bonds I have ever had,” she told attendees. “To everyone here tonight, I offer you my thanks… because of you, Young at Arts, like so many other programs supported by Episcopal Charities, is able to thrive and inspire future generations.” An interview with Jaela about her experience with Young at Arts is available here.
We are thrilled to have once again held such a successful Tribute Dinner, and want to thank everyone who attended and donated for their support. Proceeds from the event will go directly to outreach programs which serve people in need across the diocese. As we enter 2018, we are grateful for everyone who makes it possible for us to fulfill our commitment to caring.