March 19, 2021

First ‘Legacy Gala’ will support Catholic schools, Catholic Charities and seminarians

By Natalie Hoefer

Legacy Gala logoThe archdiocese’s inaugural Legacy Gala will be held online at 6:30 p.m. on April 16.

The annual event will raise funds for three vital causes that touch every corner of the Church in central and southern Indiana: Catholic schools, Catholic Charities and seminarian formation.

The event consolidates two long-standing, annual awards/fundraiser banquets—Catholic School Values and Spirit of Service.

The gala, which will include music, online bidding, social media posting and more, will also serve this year to honor archdiocesan chancellor Annette “Mickey” Lentz for her 60 years of service in the archdiocese.

The hope is for participants to have fun at themed “watch parties” while also raising a goal of $60,000 to support Catholic Charities, Catholic schools and seminarian education, said Dana Stone, one of the event coordinators.

“Life as we knew it changed when the pandemic hit,” said Stone, the archdiocese’s director of appeals and creative services. “Many were left without jobs, leaving them without the means to support their families. Some found themselves homeless. Some were barely making ends meet. …

“When many places were forced to close their doors, our Catholic Charities agencies around the archdiocese worked tirelessly to meet this new demand.”

So did Catholic schools by supplying meals “to children who depended on a nutritious breakfast and lunch at school every day,” Stone added.

“The only reason we were able to serve so many in need during this very challenging time was because of the financial gifts that people had generously given up to that time. The resources were there thanks to our donors.”

Now, she said, financial gifts “are needed more than ever because the need is greater than we have ever seen.”

While a small group will be present for the gala at the JW Marriot in Indianapolis, all other participation will be virtual.

But joining online doesn’t mean passively watching a screen, said Stone.

“We are giving people the opportunity to host their own ‘watch party’ in the comfort of their own home, inviting close family and friends to enjoy the evening with them,” she said.

The online registration form offers several suggestions for how a watch party might look. Go with a wardrobe theme, having guests dressing in plaid in support of Catholic schools or in black for future priests. Make it a prom event. Offer wine-tasting, have a euchre tournament or play yard games.

“The only limit is your imagination,” said Stone. “That, and checking the screen to see what’s going on with the gala.”

Watch party groups can enjoy music from The Doo at 6:30 p.m. as they register for the gala’s online auction or donate online.

The event program begins at 7 p.m. It will include prayer with Archbishop Charles C. Thompson, witness stories of those helped by archdiocesan ministries, speakers (including Indianapolis Colts’ tight end Jack Doyle) and a presentation honoring Lentz for her six decades of service in the archdiocese.

At 8 p.m., live-streamed music from The Doo will play as participants share, on social media, videos and photos from their watch party and favorite memories of Lentz, finalize bidding and make donations online.

Auction award winners will be announced at 8:30 p.m. The list of items up for bid is still being finalized, said Stone, but people can keep an eye on the gala’s website, where the list will soon be posted.

The online event will conclude at 9 p.m.

(For more information about the Legacy Gala, go to To register or for more information on watch parties, go to For questions, send an e-mail to Dana Stone at or call her at 317-236-1591 or 800-382-9836, ext. 1591.)

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