By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – This year, the Catholic Charities’ Bishop’s Ball had a bonus special guest, Wanda Thomas, the new executive director for the agency. Thomas has hired just in time to attend the event to greet many of the core supporters. Brunini, Grantham, Grower and Hewes Law first was honored at the event with the Good Samaritan Award for service to Catholic Charities and the diocese.
The Bishop’s Ball is an annual event, traditionally held at the Jackson Country Club to raise money for Catholic Charities and allow the organization to thank donors and supporters face-to-face. The evening started with a silent auction followed by dinner and a live auction as well as the presentation of awards. Auction items included a Walter Anderson print, dinner with Bishop Kopacz and Sister Dorothea Sondgeroth as well as trips and artwork. The ballroom at the Jackson Country Club was packed with supporters who enjoyed an evening of fellowship and fund-raising.
The Good Samaritan Award goes to an individual or entity who has supported the mission of Catholic Charities in a special way. John B. Brunini, a devout Catholic, founded the law firm Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes more than a century ago. Since its founding in the 1890’s, the firm has grown into one of Mississippi’s largest and most respected law firms. The firm serves primarily business clients, including a number of Fortune 500 companies, and other significant Mississippi companies, including the nation’s largest privately held wireless company, Mississippi’s largest health insurer, one of the state’s largest banks, a number of the nation’s top poultry producers, and one of the state’s largest private health care systems. In addition to these entities, the firm provides legal counsel to many industry leaders in the agribusiness, automotive, timber, energy, construction, transportation and manufacturing sectors.
For more than fifty years, the firm has proudly represented the Diocese of Jackson. During this longstanding relationship, the firm has provided legal counsel to Bishops Gerow, Brunini, Houck, Latino and now Joseph Kopacz. The firm has also been instrumental in providing legal guidance and to other Catholic institutions like St. Dominic’s Hospital, the Catholic Foundation, the diocesan school system, Catholic Charities and many other diocesan incorporated and juridical entities.
Save the date for the next Catholic Charities event, the Journey of Hope luncheon in Jackson on Tuesday, Oct. 8 featuring former Pittsburg Steelers great Rocky Bleier. Bleier wrote a book about how he returned to the NFL after being wounded in Vietnam.
(Photos by Berta Mexidor)