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by Rose Caldwell

Mon, Feb 8th 2016 02:00 pm

It was a festive celebration!

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) Foundation came to Catholic Charities on Saturday to present the second annual Torch Award for Philanthropic Excellence to Catholic Charities of Buffalo. This release is courtesy of the BBB:

BUFFALO, NY (February 6, 2016) — Better Business Bureau Foundation of Upstate New York is proud to announce Catholic Charities of Buffalo  as the winner of the 2015 Torch Award for Philanthropic Excellence. BBB Foundation developed this award to recognize nonprofits that employ practices which generate a high level of trust among employees, donors and communities.

BBB Foundation President and CEO Warren Clark presented the award as the culmination to the Appeal 2016 workshop for Erie County volunteers at Catholic Charities’ Delaware Avenue, Buffalo office. Accepting the Torch Award on behalf of Catholic Charities were The Most Reverend Richard J. Malone, bishop of Buffalo; Sister Mary McCarrick, diocesan director; and Dennis C. Walczyk, chief executive officer.

Catholic Charities was selected by a panel of independent judges. This award shows the commitment made by its winners to operate at the highest levels of leadership, character and commitment to mission and ethics. “We are honored to receive this designation. The Torch Award is a testament to the good work of Catholic Charities as it reaches out with its multiple services through Western New York,” said Sister Mary McCarrick. “It also serves as an assurance to our donors of the quality of our work and the integrity of our financial management.”

BBB Accredited Charities within the 48 county service area of BBB Foundation of Upstate New York were eligible to apply. “This annual award is one way our organization can honor nonprofits that are leading the way in philanthropy,” said Warren Clark. “While judging is done by an independent committee, it is a completely rewarding process to see the commitment our charitable organizations make to serve their communities; not only through their programming but by the commitment they make to transparency and strong management and leadership disciplines.”

Catholic Charities of Buffalo helps thousands of individuals and families in need throughout Western New York, serving over 132,000 in 2015. “We are grateful and very pleased to receive the Torch Award from the Better Business Bureau Foundation of Upstate New York,” said Dennis C. Walczyk. “All of us at Catholic Charities – trustees, employees and volunteers – strive as a team to live our mission, adhere to our principles and practice sound leadership every day. This prestigious award is a concrete affirmation to our supporters, donors and the people we serve that Catholic Charities will continue to meet and exceed best practice standards as a quality service and charitable organization.”

Since its inception in 1923 when a group of diverse Catholic organizations serving people in need united to form one non-profit organization, Catholic Charities of Buffalo has continued in that collaborative vein, joining forces for sustainability and to better serve the community. Today the organization offers comprehensive services to those in need and those who are most vulnerable: children, adults, older adults and families – without regard to religion, race or age.

The Torch Award for Philanthropic Excellence began in 2014 with Roswell Park Alliance Foundation as the inaugural winner. More information can be found at