BRIDGEPORT—Located in a former church on Madison Avenue in Bridgeport, just a few blocks from St. Augustine Cathedral, you will find a fully functioning soup kitchen that has been feeding the hungry and the homeless Monday through Saturday for the past 45 years. On May 22, 2019, The Thomas Merton Center will host its 25th Annual Celebrity Breakfast at the Holiday Inn in Bridgeport. This event has been a longtime staple to the program and has featured such “celebrity” guests as Paul Miller, Bob Wright and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo. Anticipating the excitement surrounding the Silver Anniversary of the event, the Thomas Merton Center Board decided to feature two guest speakers this year—Jim Koplik and Howard Saffan.
Jim Koplik is currently the President of Live Nation Connecticut and a concert promoter who produces over 150 shows a year. Some of his prior productions include shows by The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, REO Speedwagon, Madonna, Billy Joel, and Elton John. Howard Saffan is a developer and CEO of Amphitheater, LLC. Saffan is a co-owner of Sports Center of Connecticut and The Rinks at Shelton in Shelton, CT. He is also the former President of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders.
The Thomas Merton Center’s mission is to provide a loving, safe and hope-filled community atmosphere, which responds to the needs of its guests. The Thomas Merton Center helps those who cannot help themselves. Guests come to the program because of their invisibility to other social services. In addition to its soup kitchen which provides both breakfast and lunch to approximately 350 people per day, the services provided by The Thomas Merton Center include: a food pantry, support groups, case management, educational assistance, a shower program, health services, and a mail program.
According to Al Barber, President of Catholic Charities, “Thomas Merton said it best, ‘We do not exist for ourselves.’ Those words reflect the efforts, energy and contributions that support The Thomas Merton Center. The 25th Annual Celebrity Breakfast significantly supports the programs annual budget to provide meals and services to the most vulnerable population in Bridgeport.”
To register for the event or sponsor a table, please visit the event webpage at www.themertoncenter.org/events. For more information, contact Sabine Kuczo at [email protected] or 203.367.9036 ext. 15.
Written by Amy Zajac
As seen on the Fairfield County Catholic Website