2021 Lumen Gentium Award Winners
Posted in the RI Catholic Newspaper - Thursday, September 16, 2021 6:00 am
By Laura Kilgus, Assistant Editor
The Elmhurst Boys of St. Pius V Church, Providence, were honored with a Lumen Gentium Award in Community Service & Charitable Outreach.
The Elmhurst Boys is a faith-based group of individuals who share similar interests and concerns for the community and those in need. Community, friendship, commitment and charity: These four words summarize what’s at the heart of their mission of giving back through volunteering, fundraising and charitable contributions. Since 1995, the group has helped raise more than $400,000 through volunteer work and event planning for the Elmhurst community at-large.
From pancake breakfasts to benefit “Keep the Heat On,” the diocesan heating assistance program; to preparing hot meals for men at Emmanuel House, the diocesan homeless shelter; to raising thousands for families at Christmastime; the Elmhurst Boys never cease in helping others.
For the last five years, The Elmhurst Boys have touched the lives of many by providing much-needed financial assistance in the annual Charity Golf Tournament, held each May. Recently, the fundraiser benefited Alex Wilson, a young girl battling cancer. In 2016, they donated $4,886 to St. Pius V School to support students’ needs. St. Pius V Parish nominated The Elmhurst Boys for the 2020 Lumen Gentium award.
“It all began in the early ‘90s when several young men bound by faith and friendship came together as a group to help the St. Pius V community,” said Father James Sullivan, O.P., pastor. “President Tom Zelano and his dad would prepare their chicken Marsala — the best in Rhode Island — and sausage and peppers, and the Boys ran the food court of the Harvest Festival, the major fundraiser for the parish school. In 2015, they made a dream a reality and became a 501c3 Non-Profit organization.”
Father Sullivan shared that their incredible volunteer work exemplifies the scope of their grace-filled acts of love.
“At the very heart of the Gospel is life in the community and engagement with others. It all started with family and friends joined together by their love of God and their love for each other,” said Father Sullivan. “True love of God can be seen through our deeds and actions – and The Elmhurst Boys indeed show us how to live the ‘good news’ of the Gospel.”