Caritas Family Solutions CEO Gary Huelsmann at the Heart & Soul Gala.

BELLEVILLE - Caritas Family Solutions is proud to announce that this year’s 10th annual Heart & Soul Gala raised nearly $280,000, a record amount to support the nonprofit’s mission work. The gala was held at The Regency in O’Fallon, Illinois on February 4, 2023, and was also a celebration of Caritas’ 75th Anniversary as a nonprofit organization.

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“It’s incredible to look back at how our organization has grown over the years and to see the impact we have made in people’s lives,” said Caritas CEO Gary Huelsmann. “Caritas touches the lives of more than 7,000 people each year through our services, including 1,700 foster children. That work wouldn’t be possible without the incredible support from businesses and caring individuals in our community. We’re so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish and we’re excited to continue finding new ways to make an impact in the communities we serve.”

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Caritas Family Solutions services include foster care, pregnancy care for women experiencing homelessness, adoption, counseling and independent living for adults with disabilities among other service lines. The annual Heart & Soul 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 event included a presentation of this year’s Heart & Soul Awards which recognize an individual and a business that exemplifies the mission of the nonprofit through service and contributions. Chris Rollins and Ameren Illinois were both recognized for their service and commitment to Caritas Family Solutions. This year’s gala was emceed by WSIL-TV’s Brooke Schlyer and included a silent auction, testimonies and an engaging video about Caritas’ mission and history of service.

Founded in 1947, Caritas Family Solutions is a nonprofit social service agency whose mission is to strengthen the social and emotional well-being of individuals and families in order to create healthy relationships, loving homes, and strong communities. Services include adoption, pregnancy care for women who are homeless, foster care, counseling, residential treatment for children healing from abuse and/or neglect, independent living for adults with developmental disabilities (CILA), and assisted living and employment assistance for low-income seniors. Caritas serves more than 7,000 individuals annually across Southern Illinois from offices located in Belleville, Carterville, Mount Vernon, Olney, Glen Carbon, Alton, and Effingham as well as satellite locations in Highland and Sparta. For additional information, visit

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