BELLEVILLE - Caritas Family Solutions hosted its 9th annual Heart & Soul Gala, presented by Federico Kia, virtually on February 5, 2022. Caritas Family Solutions raised more than $150,000.

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.

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

This year’s one-hour production was emceed by WSIL-TV’s Brooke Schlyer and included 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 their goal is to raise awareness about all of the services Caritas currently provides. The agency currently serves more than 6,500 people including 1,700 foster children, throughout the Southern Illinois region. This year’s event also highlighted Caritas’ Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILA) program.

“This event is always an opportunity for us to engage with the community and educate them about the amazing work Caritas’ does for the families we serve,” said Huelsmann. “We are inspired by the resilience our children, individuals and families show and this gala was a chance to celebrate all we have accomplished together.”

Article continues after sponsor message

At this year’s gala, Caritas also unveiled plans for its 75th anniversary celebration, which will begin this summer. The celebration will kick-off on Caritas Day, which is held on July 31st, 2022.

Sponsors for this year’s event included Federico KIA, Kennedy Capital Management, 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.

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, Alton, Highland, Sparta and Effingham. For additional information, visit

More like this:

Jan 19, 2022 | Caritas Family Solutions Hosts 9th Annual Heart & Soul Gala Virtually

Feb 16, 2023 | Caritas Family Solutions Raises Record Amount At 10th Annual Heart & Soul Gala

Jan 17, 2023 | Caritas Family Solutions Celebrates 75th Anniversary With 10th Annual Heart & Soul Gala

Jan 27, 2021 | Caritas Family Solutions Hosts 8th Annual Heart & Soul Gala Virtually

Feb 20, 2020 | Caritas Family Solutions’ Raises Largest Total Ever at 7th Annual Heart & Soul Gala