Catholic Charities' Cardinal’s 75th Annual Christmas Celebration

December 2020. Virtual

Empire was overjoyed to work with the Catholic Charities of Archdiocese of New York once again to help produce the 75th annual Cardinal’s Christmas Celebration held virtually this holiday season. The evening highlighted their many programs that support underserved women and children over the holidays and throughout each year.

The evening was hosted by Rosanna Scotto, Host, FOX 5 NY News, and featured festive choir performances by Saint Raymond Elementary Junior Choir and Young People's Chorus of New York City; remarks from Catherine Kinney, Luncheon Chair, Cardinal’s Christmas Celebration; Francis La Salla, Corporate Chair, Cardinal’s Christmas Celebration; Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York; and His Eminence, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York; and a heartfelt tribute to the late Mary Higgins Clark, author, philanthropist, and dear friend of Catholic Charities.

Typically, the annual celebration is held as a luncheon chaired by Mary, whose passing this year left many bereft in an already challenging year. Dedicated in Loving Memory, the program included stories about her life and achievements through the lens of her son and daughter, Dave and Patricia Clark. Additional contributions from her granddaughter, Elizabeth Clark, and Former Assistant, Nadine Petry, illustrated Mary’s empathy for the women and children served by Catholic Charities, and the importance of her faith.

Empire wrote, directed, and produced the Mary Higgins Clark tribute video and five other feature videos in addition to the producing the overall gala, including the Saint Raymond Elementary Junior Choir performances; the Catholic Charities Youth Programs Montage, narrated by Philip Dorian, Director of Agency Relations, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York; and the Catholic Charities Good Counsel Homes video, narrated by Christopher Bell, President & Founder, Good Counsel Homes, which featured moving testimonies from three current residents; and Jazmine Cherry, Case Manager, Good Counsel Homes.

The St. Nicholas Project video highlighted Catholic Charities’ work providing resources to recipients in need, which included testimonials from Mr. and Mrs. Esquivel and former recipients and volunteers of the Project, before leading into a text-to-pledge appeal by Jason and James Togba, brothers served by Catholic Charities Alianza Youth Services.

To close this beautiful program, His Eminence read The Birth of Christ as is Luncheon tradition. Students from St. John Chrysostom School reenacted the Christmas Tableau in the emotional feature video while wearing face coverings as the Cardinal narrated, reflecting the severe change in social-norms over the course of this year. The Nativity Scene faded into a closing choir performance of Silent Night, and the program ended with a digital donor scroll and tribute pages.

Empire is a proud event producer of galas and benefits, specializing in virtual and socially distanced on location video production, project management, virtual platform design, and more.

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