New Canaan residents turned out in big numbers recently to support the second annual Fundraiser and Auction for Thorpe Family Residence. According to Michael Callaghan, executive director of Thorpe, the event raised more than $75,000 for the Bronx, N.Y.-based agency that serves homeless families by providing supportive and permanent housing for families in need.

"We are grateful to everyone who attended our event and contributed in so many ways -- with auction items, donations, time and talent," Callaghan said. "We are especially indebted to the New Canaan Committee of volunteers who laid the groundwork for a very special evening."

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In his remarks before more than 200 guests at Waveny House, Callaghan said the funds would be used to help with capital improvements at the two buildings that Thorpe manages, and to expand much-needed social service programs, especially for children and working mothers.

Among the honorees were the New Canaan Kiwanis Club, which received Thorpe's Community Leadership Award for its many generous donations over the years. Thorpe's Community Service Award was presented to Chris Otis and the St. Aloysius Youth Ministry. Under Otis' leaadership, teenagers from St. Aloysius Church have hosted Thorpe families in New Canaan and performed volunteer work for Thorpe.

Ann Wronski, New Canaan resident and chairwoman of this year's Thorpe Fundraising Committee, had special praise for local and area businesses that continue to be generous in donating items and helping with this year's fundraiser. "We couldn't do this without our supporters, so we thank them all on behalf of the families of Thorpe," Wronski said.

Thorpe Family Residence was founded over 25 years ago by the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill, N.Y. Thorpe is managed by Nazareth Housing Inc. in New York.