Bishop’s Ball to honor Gastons, McDonnell June 6

JACKSON – Catholic Charities has set the tenth annual Bishop’s Ball for Saturday, June 6, at the Country Club of Jackson. The ball gives the organization an opportunity to recognize and honor some of its most loyal and dedicated supporters and this year is no exception.
Archie R. McDonnell Jr., of Citizens National Bank of Meridian and Beth and Robert Gaston of Madison are this year’s honorees.050115gastons02
The Gastons are active members of Madison St. Francis of Assisi as extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, RCIA program volunteers, and members of the choir and sacristy committee.  Robert Gaston is currently serving as a lector and is an active member of Council 9543 of the Knights of Columbus.  Beth Gaston is the coordinator of the marriage preparation ministry for the parish and involved in the parish ladies auxiliary as well as the St. Dominic’s Hospital Auxiliary. The Gastons have been active in supporting multiple projects at Catholic Charities where Beth has also served on the Board of Directors. They are lifetime members of the Catholic Foundation.>
The couple has also supported building projects at their home parish, Flowood St. Paul, St. Catherine’s Village, St Anthony and Madison St. Joseph Schools. Finally, the Gastons have supported the development of technology at several of the Catholic schools in the diocese. They have four children and nine grandchildren and have been married for 41 years.050115gastons01
Archie McDonnell, Jr., President and CEO of Citizens National Bank, doubled the bank’s asset size from $500 million to more than $1 billion, and helped grow the Bank to 26 locations since taking the helm in 1999. In 1991, he helped to establish the East Mississippi Community Development Corporation through which local banks join together to provide funding to small businesses who do not qualify for traditional financing, and he continues to serve on the Board of the Corporation.
As a board member of the William Robert Baird Charitable Trust, he has ensured that more than $4.3 million in charitable donations have been made to underprivileged people in the area since 1981. In addition, the majority of the bank’s radio advertising dollars are invested 12 months out of every year, to promote the work of non-profit organizations throughout the state.
He also serves on the Strategic Planning Advisory Council for FIS, the world’s largest provider of banking and payments technology solutions, is a board member for the Meridian Symphony Association, and is also a member of the Bank CEO Network. 050115mcdonnell In 2012, the University of Mississippi’ School of Banking and Finance recognized McDonnell as their Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, and in 2013, he was honored with the Hartley D. Peavey Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence.
McDonnell is a long-time member of Central United Methodist Church in Meridian, where he serves as church treasurer. He and his wife of 39 years, the former Mary McCauley, are parents of a son, two daughters and six grandchildren, with another grandchild on the way. The Gastons and McDonnell will be honored at the June event.
The evening includes dinner and live entertainment as well as both live and silent auctions. The auctions are known for their fine art, decorative items from John Richard Furniture, jewelry, gift cards, trips and so much more!  One of the most popular parts of the auction are the raffle packages.
The Bishop’s Ball is Catholic Charities premier fundraising event and helps to raise money for children’s programs. Cocktails start at 6:30 and dinner is at 7:15. Tickets cost $75 per person and are available on the website,  or through Julie O’Brien. Contact O’Brien by phone at (601)326-3758 or email