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2017 New York Awards Dinner

September 28, 2017

The SOAR! Board of Directors cordially invite you to the

New York Awards Dinner

Celebrating Religious Life And

Benefitting Aged and Infirm Religious

Thursday, September 28, 2017
6 PM Cocktail reception ♦ 7 PM Dinner awards presentation

The New York Athletic Club
180 Central Park South
New York, New York

Business attire

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For details, contact the SOAR! office at (202) 529-7627 or email events@soar-usa.org.


Walter “Wally” Probst, Merrill Lynch
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Award

Walter “Wally” Probst retired from Merrill Lynch in 2016 after a nearly 50-year career as a financial advisor.

Wally has been a faithful supporter of SOAR! since he first saw a 1986 Wall Street Journal article detailing the hardships that aging religious face.

He was moved, and he saw an opportunity to give back and give thanks for the many religious that helped to shape him. Wally has been involved with SOAR! ever since.

Growing up, Wally attended Rice High School in Manhattan, where the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers left a lasting impression on him as “surrogate fathers and big brothers.” He is also inspired by his relationship with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia.

He considers his greatest accomplishments to be both his successful career in service to others, and his supportive and loving family.

He and his wife, Kathy, have two children, Eric and Julie, and five grandchildren. He continues to be active in his community and volunteers at his parish, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Oakland, New Jersey, where he serves as a lector and on the parish finance committee.

Wally holds a degree in economics from Manhattan College. Prior to working at Merrill Lynch, he worked for Sun Oil and Shell Oil and as a vendor at Yankee Stadium. He is also a United States Navy veteran.

Helene Shepard, Catholic Daughters of the Americas
Inaugural Dorothy Day Service Award

Helene Shepard has served as national regent for the Catholic Daughters of the Americas since 2016.

Helene supports SOAR! because of the “tremendous impact” Catholic Sisters have had in her life, starting from her school days at St. Catherine of Alexandria School in Brooklyn and Academy of the Sacred Heart of Mary in the Bronx.

She is also involved with the Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate known as the Pallottine Sisters, who she says have “enhanced my spirituality and helped me broaden my outreach as a Catholic woman.”

Helene is dedicated to serving others. Her contagious, vivacious spirit draws others in, and her persistent work ethic gets the job done.

After retiring from a career in teaching and administration in 1995, Helene founded and became the director of St. Mary’s Little Lambs Preschool School in Washingtonville, New York. Now retired, she has time to dedicate herself to the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, where she has held several key leadership positions.

Helene has also been active at St. Mary’s Parish in Washingtonville for 40 years, where she has served as a lector, Eucharistic minister, religious education teacher, member of the Nocturnal Adoration Society, chair of the building campaign, and is currently a parish trustee.

Now widowed, Helene was married to Deacon John Shepard for 35 years. They raised two sons together, Patrick and Allen.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Award

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York is one of the largest organizations in the New York metropolitan area. It is a federation made up 90 social service agencies throughout the 10 counties of the Archdiocese of New York.

It is part of a nationwide network of local human service organizations that form Catholic Charities USA—the fourth-largest social service provider in the United States, according and the 10th largest fundraising organization in the United States.

Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth
Convent Station, New Jersey
Rita Hofbauer Grant Awardee

The Sisters of Charity were founded by Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, in the spirit of Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Louise de Marillac, in Emmitsburg, Maryland, in 1809. In 1859 Mother Mary Xavier Mehegan founded the New Jersey community known as the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth.

Today the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth are engaged in education, health care, pastoral and social service ministries in 19 dioceses within the United States, in El Salvador and Haiti. The congregation currently numbers 262 vowed members. The Seton Associate relationship has 292 affiliated lay and religious women and men.


September 28, 2017
Event Category:


New York Athletic Club
180 Central Park South
New York, NY United States
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