By Dave Jolivet, Editor
FALMOUTH — The diocesan Foundation to Advance Catholic Education (FACE) has two special summer events coming up quickly. One, a summer staple on Cape Cod, and the other with all the earmarks of becoming another long-standing tradition — The FACE Summer Gala and FACE’s involvement with the prestigious Falmouth Road Race.
For decades, Catholic schools in the Diocese of Fall River, from pre-school through high school, have been providing myriad students a quality education, all grounded in the faith and the teachings of Christ.
The desire was, and still is, that every family should have the opportunity to send their child/children to a Catholic school.
In 1991, the diocese took a big step to assist families that found educational costs too prohibitive. With the sale of the St. Mary’s Orphanage building in New Bedford, the diocese founded the St. Mary’s Fund, a separately incorporated entity, to assist families with need-based scholarships. This allowed more families to provide their children with an excellent education and a solid core of respect, values and discipline.
In 2015, the St. Mary’s Fund changed its name to the Foundation to Advance Catholic Education (FACE), continuing and adding to the fine work done by the fund for the prior 24 years.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of “a mission dedicated to educational access”; that mission being to ensure that “no child is denied attending a Catholic school in the Diocese of Fall River due to financial hardship.”
In 1997, the St. Mary’s Fund committee established the inaugural summertime Gala, and it has since become Cape Cod’s largest source of funding for FACE.
After the pandemic forced last year’s event to be a virtual affair, this year, the 24th edition of the Gala is back to normal and will take place on August 5 at the Coonamessett Inn in Falmouth.
The Gala always provides a great evening of wonderful foods, entertainment and prizes, and this year will be no different.
Hosting again for another year is the Emmy Award-winning radio and television personality, Billy Costa, best known in this area for co-hosting “Dining Playbook,” on NESN. Costa is a long-time supporter of Catholic education.
The event chairperson for the 2021 event is Elizabeth O’Brien, Esq., a parent of a student at St. John Paul II School — Preparatory Division in Hyannis.
In 2017, FACE established the Al Makkay Sr. Award, given in honor and memoriam for the life of service embodied by Makkay, to recognize outstanding contributions by a teacher or staff member in the Catholic Schools of Cape Cod.
Makkay, an icon on Cape Cod, a self-made success story who owned two radio stations on the Cape, was a staunch supporter of Catholic education and of the St. Mary’s Fund/FACE. He also funded the building of a school in Guaimaca, Honduras, at the mission there that was then run by the Diocese of Fall River. This year’s recipient has not yet been announced.
The Summer Gala will begin at 6 p.m., including cocktails and a dinner. Attendees will be able to participate in an exclusive gift raffle, a wine wall, a live auction and Fund-a-Mission. All great fun while raising critical scholarship dollars for students in need.
For more information, to purchase tickets, become a sponsor, or make a donation scan the code with your mobile device, or visit www.FACEsummergala.org.
Team FACE is in Falmouth Road Race
While not quite a diocesan summer tradition, yet, FACE will be involved with the prestigious Falmouth Road Race, itself a longstanding Cape Cod tradition, for the second year in a row. Last year FACE volunteer, Cassandra Robin, participated and raised $3,600 for FACE in the first Falmouth Road Race Home Edition.
This year, taking part in the Numbers for Non-Profits for the first time will be Team FACE.
Those running in the race for Team FACE will be Bishop da Cunha; Jim Bouchard, a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Swansea; Joe Harrington, of the diocesan Finance Office and a member of Immaculate Conception Parish in North Easton; Sean Kane, principal of Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro; Jane Robin, development associate for the diocesan Catholic Foundation, and Team FACE captain; Dan Roy, Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Fall River; and Sara Seals, music teacher at Bishop Feehan High School.
The seven-mile (11k) scenic seaside race, established in 1973, draws Olympic runners, participants from all over the world, and area recreational runners. This year it will be run on August 15 at 9 a.m.
For more information, or to support the six diocesan entrants and assist FACE in helping raise much-needed funds for need-based scholarships to diocesan Catholic schools, visit www.face-dfr.org/asics-2021-falmouth-road-race, or scan the code below.