Catholic Charities of Steuben is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2020 Annual Awards. Each year CCS recognizes individuals or organizations in Steuben County for outstanding commitment to our agency, its mission, and the service priorities that combine to advance our mission, including Kinship Family and Youth, Substance Free Living, and Turning Point. The theme for this year’s Awards Dinner was Fostering Healthy Communities. CCS congratulates all the 2020 award recipients for helping to further our mission to build communities that care for all people by strengthening and enriching the quality of life for individuals, families, and children; working to reduce poverty; and advocating for social justice. Awardees were recognized at a virtual awards ceremony held Tuesday, October 27, 2020. You may view the ceremony by clicking here and entering the passcode: v0C&.UhE
The 2020 Award Winners
The highest community honor, the Friends of Catholic Charities Award, recognizes an individual or organization that has helped CCS achieve its mission of building community, strengthening families, reducing poverty, and advocating for social justice. The 2020 honor went to Food Bank of the Southern Tier. In presenting the award, Rosa Burd, Special Projects Coordinator for Turning Point stated, “One way the Food Bank helps our communities thrive is working to get nourishing food from farmers, manufacturers, and retailers to communities in need. Catholic Charities of Steuben is proud of the collaborative work that has been established to get this needed food directly into the hands of those who need it most at our food pantries.” Ms. Burd added, “Without the partnership of this award recipient, Catholic Charities would never have been able to serve 4,687 households, comprised of 11,758 individuals for pantry services; hundreds of emergency food boxes for homeless individuals housed in local hotels during the COVID-19 lockdown; or receive and distribute a total of 34,129 lbs. of donated food to families throughout Steuben County.”
The William and Dorothy Belknap Award was established in honor of the couple, who saw a need in the Bath community for youth services and recreational activities. The award recognizes an individual or organization who has, through their efforts and dedication, promoted the work of CCS in providing Substance Free Living Prevention Services to youth, families, and communities. The 2020 award went to Tina Broderick.
The Barbara Fairbanks Award recognizes an individual or individuals who exemplify Barb’s strong commitment to advocating for the children of Steuben County through their support of CCS’ Kinship Family and Youth programs. Recipients believe in strengthening families and bringing hope to children, as well as demonstrate a passion for advocating for children and providing opportunities to enrich their lives. This is shown by consistently providing support to one or more Kinship Family and Youth programs, giving of themselves or their resources beyond what is expected, and by being a positive voice for Kinship Family and Youth in the community. The 2020 recipient was Dr. Laura DeMarco.
The Works of Love Award recognizes the extraordinary effort of a member of the faith community who collaborates with CCS to act on social justice issues and serve the most vulnerable in our community, advancing CCS’ mission through various works of love. The 2020 award went to the Daisy Troop #60344.
The Spirit of Turning Point Award recognizes a volunteer whose contribution helps to advance the work of Turning Point, either through advocacy, education, building relationships, developing resources, or increasing capacity. In 2020, CCS chose to honor St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
The Andy Mazzella Compassion Award was established in honor of Andy Mazzella, who dedicated many years of service to CCS both as a volunteer and paid staff, working with deeply felt compassion to assist low income families in our community who are struggling. This award gives special recognition to those individuals in CCS or in the Steuben County community who have given selflessly of themselves to improve the human condition of others. In 2020 the award was presented posthumously in honor of Father Lewis Brown.
The Golden Shoe Award recognizes the individual or team who raised the most funds for CCS’ Steps To End Poverty in Steuben (STEPS) Walk. The annual event raises funds and awareness about poverty in Steuben County. This year the walk was a virtual event, allowing those who signed up to participate in any activity, in any location. The 2020 Golden Shoe Award recipient was Centenary United Methodist Church.
The Robert Turissini Award for Extraordinary Service was established by the CCS Board of Directors as a special way to honor outstanding employees. Bob Turissini was instrumental in establishing Catholic Charities of Steuben. His dedicated service and leadership as the first CCS Board Chair guided the agency from its creation in 1997 to position the agency for success today. This year’s recipient was our Bath Community Child Day Care Center Director, Darcy Cherry.
The Lorie Gerstel Award was established in 2019 in memory of Lorie Gerstel, a long-time member of CCS’ Board of Directors and the Steuben Council on Addictions Advisory Council. Lorie was a staunch supporter of the efforts of substance abuse services and prevention in Steuben County. The award recognizes a person or agency who has, through their efforts, supported and helped to advance substance abuse services in Steuben County. This year’s award recipient was Ann Domingos.