Hand Up Gala set for Nov. 1 at Aquarium

Msgr. Robert T. McDermott will be honored at the event

The Joseph Fund, a Camden-based nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the ministries of St. Joseph’s Pro-Cathedral, will hold its inaugural “Hand Up Gala” on Saturday, Nov. 1 at Adventure Aquarium.

The event will honor Camden native Msgr. Robert T. McDermott, known as Father Bob to many, who has spent more than 30 years advocating for the City of Camden and its residents. Supported by Lourdes Health System and The Kennedy Companies, proceeds will benefit the many programs Msgr. McDermott has created to help Camden residents.

The Hand Up Gala takes its name from the idea that giving people a “hand up” instead of a “hand out” has a more profound impact on their lives.

“I’ve done philanthropic work in Camden before, but when I toured The Joseph Fund’s facilities, I saw what a real change the organization is making by giving people an opportunity to not only survive but thrive,” said Lisa Blaber of Haddonfield, one of the event committee co-chairs.

Blaber has accompanied her husband, a physician, to medical clinics hosted at Joseph’s House, a homeless shelter supported by The Joseph Fund that offers social services to help residents escape the cycle of poverty, as part of its partnership with Lourdes.

“Many homeless citizens are either afraid to seek care or don’t know how to access care to address their issues, but Joseph’s House provides an onsite medical clinic, mental health and substance abuse counseling,” said Blaber. “Seeing the organization’s response to this real need within the community underscores the fact that The Joseph Fund understands the needs of the community and creates programs that address those needs.”

Throughout his years as a pastor in Camden, Msgr. McDermott’s efforts have included support for the parish school, reorganizing the Child Development Center, and creating new ministries, including the St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society, a non-profit housing organization; L.U.C.Y. (Lifting Up Camden Youth) Outreach; Romero Center Ministries, an urban education and retreat center; and Joseph’s House.

For more information about The Joseph Fund, contact executive director Mark Hodges at mhodges@josephfundcamden.org, visit www.josephfundcamden.org, or call 856-576-7012.

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