Bishop Peter A. Libasci, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester, will present the Vita et Caritas Award (For Life and Love Award). The Award will be presented to a non-profit organization’s volunteer who makes significant contributions to the organization. The award recipient will be honored at the Bishop’s Summer Reception on September 5, 2019, and the non-profit agency will receive a grant of $2,500.

This annual award is given in honor of the memory of Ruthie Ford, whose life reflected Catholic ideals and tireless dedication to service in the cause of helping women, children and families. Guided by the principle that life was a gift from God, she used her beliefs to create social action.

In 2018, we presented the fourth Vita et Caritas Award to Hamisi Juma. In 2014, Mr. Juma founded the Safari Youth Club and has been the Executive Director. The Club educates and empowers young refugees and immigrants through sports and arts and provides training and mentoring to help youth reach all their goals in life. Safari Youth Club currently serves approximately 80 children and helps families adjust to their new lives in the United States. For Hamisi, helping his community is important while also being the energy and impetus behind Safari Youth Club.

In 2017, we presented the third Vita et Caritas Award to Ms. Linda Shemanske. Ms. Shemanske is a board vice president for Good Beginnings of the Upper Valley. She has served as a volunteer for the past 30+ years and is one of the founders of the organization along with other women of St. Denis Parish in Hanover.

In 2016, we presented the second Vita et Caritas Award to Mr. George Rousseau. Mr. Rousseau is a Guardian ad Litem for Court Appointed Special Advocates of New Hampshire (CASA). In his fifteen years as a volunteer with CASA, Mr. Rousseau has personally advocated in the N.H. Courts for nearly 20 children who have suffered from neglect or abuse, with ages ranging from newborn up to 18 years old.

In 2015, we presented the inaugural Vita et Caritas Award to Dr. Nicole Varasteh to recognize her work caring for pregnant women. Dr. Varasteh is an Obstetrics and Gynecology physician with Dartmouth Hitchcock in Concord, who volunteers her time with CareNet Pregnancy Center of Manchester and Nashua and CareNet Pregnancy Center of Greater Concord.

Full information and an application form are available at www.catholicnh.org/bcaf/vca.

Applications must be received by Friday, May 31, 2019.

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