St. Catherine’s honors donors and volunteers at annual breakfast

St. Catherine’s honors donors and volunteers at annual breakfast

Albany, NY— A Selkirk couple who opened their home to 36 foster children over 24 years and a Waterford teen who buys clothing for children with money earned from her part-time job were honored at St. Catherine’s Center for Children’s annual appreciation breakfast for donors and volunteers.

Friends of St. Catherine’s gathered at the University Club of Albany on February 3 for the agency’s annual breakfast honoring donors and volunteers. The event was a ‘thank you’ to the hundreds of people who annually support St. Catherine’s, including individuals, schools, civic groups and organizations, and large and small businesses.

Executive Director Frank Pindiak welcomed guests to the event.

“We understand that you have an incredible array of charitable organizations and good causes you could support,” Pindiak said in his opening remarks. “And we are grateful that you have chosen to support St. Catherine’s Center for Children with your donations and volunteer work. Thank you!”

Annually, St. Catherine’s presents its Hope for Tomorrow Award to deserving groups or individuals for their sustained, significant contributions to the agency. This year, St. Catherine’s presented Hope for Tomorrow Awards to three friends and supporters:

  • Johnna and Earl Norton of Selkirk were honored for their longtime work as foster parents. Johnna and Earl are among the longest-serving foster parents in St. Catherine’s foster program. Over the course of 24 years, the Nortons have opened their home to 36 youth who have needed full-time foster care, and have provided short-term respite care to an additional 150 youth. They adopted four of their foster children. “The Nortons exemplify that rare foster family we have counted on—day and night, year after year, and at a moment’s notice—to help out a child in need,” noted St. Catherine’s foster care program director Brian Perrotto, who presented the Hope for Tomorrow Award to the Nortons. “They have always treated their foster children as their own, advocating in school for them, signing them up for sports and scouting, and even taking them on family vacations. They have made a fundamental difference in the lives of the foster children who have been touched by their generosity and compassion.”

  • Bella Anziano, a Waterford teen, was honored for her continued support of children living in St. Catherine’s residential program. From helping with bedroom renovations to taking children on shopping trips to taking her therapy dog to visit with children, Bella’s commitment to supporting the children of St. Catherine’s set her apart from her peers. “Bella is deeply committed to serving the children of St. Catherine’s Copson House,” said St. Catherine’s director of development Joanne Morehouse in presenting the Hope for Tomorrow Award. “Her work lets our children know they are important, that they matter, and that they are loved.”

In closing remarks, Executive Director Frank Pindiak expressed St. Catherine’s appreciation to everyone who attended the event. 

“Each of you is a partner in our mission of bringing hope to children and families,” he said. “Please know that we will always be grateful for your kindness, compassion, and support, and will always work hard to maintain the trust you place in us. Thank you all!”