More than 750 guests on Wednesday filled the reception hall in Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach for the Catholic Foundation Brooklyn and Queens Bishop’s Christmas Annual Luncheon.
Held every December, the special luncheon benefits the Catholic Foundation and its commitment to the Bishop’s Scholarship Fund and Youth Evangelization. The Catholic Foundation’s goal is to raise about $350,000 to help children attend Catholic schools, who may be experiencing financial hardships.
“It’s the Christmas spirit. It’s time for us to do what we can do and share our gifts and talents with other people and what better way to do it than with children, who can get a good Catholic education and give them that good foundation that they need in the world,” said Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, vicar for development for the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Three honorees were also recognized at the luncheon for their dedication to education:
- Thomas Chadzutko, ED.D, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn, received the Emma A. Daniels Benefactor’s Award
- Monsignor John Strynkowski, a retired priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, received the St. John Paull II Distinguished Stewardship Award
- Veronica Tsang, executive vice president and chief retail administrator for Cathay Bank, received the Spirit of Hope Award
Tsang, who resides in Flushing, is very active in numerous civic, community and nonprofit organizations outside of the banking profession.
She is one of the founders of the Chinese Gift of Life, which provides free open-heart surgery in the U.S. to needy children from China with congenital heart disease. She is currently the chairperson of the Chinese American Planning Council, the nation’s largest Asian American social services organization, vice president of Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, board director of the Gift of Life Inc., Flushing Rotary Club, Shuang Wen Academy Network, St. Michael’s Catholic Academy and Futures in Education for Brooklyn and Queens.
“I’m very humbled to be recognized and receive the Spirit of Hope Award,” Tsang said. “It means a lot to me and I’m very excited about this because I can participate in the Catholic Foundation’s mission, which is to raise money for scholarships for children and youth evangelization. This is a great honor for me.”