Catholic Community Foundation honors Harper, Garagiola

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Coro San Marcos from San Marcos Elementary School sings during the April 14 Crozier Gala. (J.D. Long-Garcia/CATHOLIC SUN)

The Catholic Community Foundation honored Sharon Harper, president and CEO of Plaza Companies, as well as former major league baseball player Joe Garagiola April 14 at its annual Crozier Gala.

Harper is a “champion of the greater community,” according to the foundation, noting her involvement in many charitable boards, including at Brophy College Preparatory.

The foundation recognized Garagiola for his support of St. Peter Mission School in Bapchule, including a community center and a convent for the Franciscan sisters that serve the community.

“He works miracles for us,” said Franciscan Sister Martha Mary Carpenter of St. Peter’s. She reminded those gathered of Garagiola’s nickname — “Awesome Fox” — given to him by the late Emit White, a well-respected member of the community.

“You do awesome things for us in a very foxy way,” she quipped. Sr. Martha met Garagiola at a past Crozier Gala and remembered telling him, “You’ll regret the day you met me.”

Garagiola humbly received the award, saying, “You usually have to die to get an award like this.”

Harper, a distinguished business leader, also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.  The foundation said she “has selflessly dedicated her time and resources to create a future of abundance for all Arizonans.”

Milena and Tony Astorga, the 2012 Crozier Gala chair couple, gave special thanks to the committee. They encouraged all to continue their support of the Catholic Community Foundation.

“It doesn’t take a lot to create abundance,” Tony said. “What we do today changed tomorrow.”

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