Caritas Famiil Solutions hosting its 9th Annual Heart & Soul Gala virtually on February 5, 2022.BELLEVILLE - Caritas Family Solutions will be hosting its 9th annual Heart & Soul Gala, presented by Federico Kia, virtually on February 5, 2022. The live stream video will begin at 6 p.m. followed by the program which begins at 6:30.

The gala serves as the nonprofit’s largest fundraising event, supporting its mission of strengthening the social and emotional well-being of individuals and families in order to create healthy relationships, loving homes, and strong communities. The agency’s services include foster care, pregnancy care for women experiencing homelessness, adoption, counseling, and independent living for adults with disabilities among other service lines.

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Because this year’s event will be virtual, registration is free and guests are invited to attend from wherever they are. This year’s one-hour production will be emceed by WSIL-TV’s Brooke Schlyer and will include a silent auction, engaging videos about Caritas’ mission, as well as special appearances from local celebrities such as KSDK’s Rene Knott.

Caritas Family Solutions CEO Gary Huelsmann said the goals for the event are to raise awareness about all of the services Caritas currently provides to more than 6,500 people including 1,700 foster children, throughout the Southern Illinois region and raise funds to support the agency and its services.

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“As the largest provider of foster care services in Southern Illinois, the last two years have been particularly challenging for our staff as well as the children, individuals, and families we serve,” said Huelsmann. “Despite that, we have been inspired by their resilience and this gala is an opportunity for us to highlight and celebrate all that we’ve accomplished together. It will also be an opportunity for us to engage with the community and educate them about ways they can help the vulnerable populations we serve. We’re hopeful that people will join us.”

Huelsmann added that this year’s event will highlight Caritas’ Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILA) program, which has seen tremendous growth over the last several years as well as the agency’s foster care program, which continues to grow each year. At this year’s gala, Caritas will also unveil plans for its 75th anniversary celebration, which will begin this summer. Sponsors for this year’s event include Federico KIA, Kennedy Capital, Barbara & Jim Calandro, Contegra Construction Company, Cardinal Buick GMC, Edward Jones, The Gori Law Firm, Performance Roofing Inc., Thompson Coburn LLP, and Dave and Jill Wenzel.

Guests can register for free for this year’s Heart and Soul Gala by going to

About Caritas Family Solutions:

Founded in 1947, Caritas Family Solutions strengthens the social and emotional well-being of individuals and families in order to create healthy relationships, loving homes and strong communities. Caritas provides services across Southern Illinois from offices located in Belleville, Carterville, Mount Vernon, Olney, East Alton and Effingham. For additional information, visit

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