Pat and Larry Durso of Middletown Earn 'Ray of Hope' Honor
Catholic Charities of Monmouth County tops list of organizations that have benefited from the volunteer work of Middletown couple.
The 2013 Ray of Hope Gala Committee, in collaboration with the Monmouth County Board of Catholic Charities, today announced that Middletown residents Pat and Larry Durso were selected as the recipients of the 2013 Ray of Hope Community Service Award in recognition for their contributions to Catholic Charities programs in Monmouth County, as well as several other local organizations.
The Dursos will be honored at the 16th annual Ray of Hope Gala on Friday, April 26, 2013 at Eagle Oaks Golf & Country Club in Farmingdale, N.J.
Monmouth County Board of Catholic Charities Chair and 2013 Ray of Hope Gala Co-Chair, Barbara Willis, said, “Pat and Larry truly enjoy helping others and can always be counted on to lend a helping hand. They exemplify the true spirit of giving and volunteerism; we are proud to honor their service to the community this year.”
Married for 36 years, the Dursos are both originally from Brooklyn, N.Y.
They met at St. John’s University (the first day of their freshman year) where they both graduated in 1975. Larry went on to earn a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1977.
In 1986, the Dursos moved to Middletown and that same year, joined Saint Leo the Great in Lincroft.
In addition to raising their two sons, Michael, 28, and Joseph, 26, both graduates of St. Leo the Great School and Christian Brothers Academy (CBA), they have managed to juggle careers and volunteer for numerous organizations.
Throughout the years, Pat and Larry have lent their support to St. Leo the Great, CBA, Catholic Charities of Monmouth County, American Cancer Society’s annual Cancer Ball, St. Leo’s Lunch Break Program, St. Jude's Children’s Hospital, Daughters of St. Paul and The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund.
Although the Dursos volunteer together as a couple, they each individually give their time to support many other organizations.
Pat is a volunteer at Riverview Medical Center. She knits hats for California-based Knots for Love, an organization that supplies cancer centers across the country with knitted hats for women, men and children. Pat has been actively involved since 2009 and has knitted more than 200 hats.
She has been a registration aide for the annual Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Run/Walk and has served on various committees for Catholic Charities of Monmouth County including Ray of Hope Gala Ad Journal Committee Co-Chair, Parish Outreach, Christmas Mission, Beacon House and the annual back-to-school supplies drive for Project FREE. She is a past president of the Parent Teacher Association at St. Leo the Great School and was active in the CBA Mother’s Club.
Larry currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Two River Theater Company and The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund. He is also a member of the theater’s Finance Committee. Previously, Larry was the president of the Saint John’s University Staten Island Alumni Association.
Since 1978, Larry has built his career in the financial services industry, focusing on wealth management and retirement planning. He is currently the executive director of Investments for the Durso Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley in Red Bank. New Jersey Monthly magazine selected Larry as one of the 2013 Five Star Wealth Managers, an elite group that represents less than two percent of the top wealth managers in the N.J. area. He has also been quoted in many finance magazines and was recently featured in Living Media magazine in the “Ask the Expert” section.
His honors and achievements include Prudential Securities Director’s Council, President’s Council and Chairman’s Council. He was a member of the Prudential National Mutual Fund Council and the Prudential Speakers Bureau. He was also a Wells Fargo Premier Advisor and a member of their Chairman’s Council. In 2004, Larry was a recipient of the Terrence Cardinal Cooke Medal from St. John’s University, an honor bestowed upon individuals who have made significant contributions to the life of the Staten Island campus.
In spite of their busy schedules, the Dursos find time to travel and are currently preparing for Michael’s wedding later this year.
Ray of Hope Gala sponsorship and ad journal opportunities are available and donations for the silent and live auctions are also being accepted. To learn more about the Gala and Catholic Charities, visit www.catholiccharitiestrenton.org/monmouth. For more information contact Barbara Willis at (732) 995-6893.
Each year the Ray of Hope Gala supports Catholic Charities’ programs that provide temporary and permanent housing, trauma counseling, child and family counseling and fix-it services. These services benefit people in need in Monmouth County, regardless of religious affiliation. The following is a list of programs that benefit from the support of Catholic Charities:
Beacon House -A transitional group home for homeless young men ages 17 to 21 and a semi-supervised apartment program for young men and women. Residents receive training in such independent living skills as cooking and money management and are linked to vocational and educational services to learn a trade, finish high school or earn a college degree.
Disaster Response – provides case management, counseling, financial assistance and advocacy to those affected by natural or man-made disasters.
Family Growth Program -Offers specialized treatment services for sexually abused children and adults who were victimized as children. Services are also available for issues of trauma related to other forms of family violence.
Linkages - A transitional housing program in Tinton Falls that provides an intensive case management residential program for homeless families. The program promotes their self-sufficiency and entry into stable, independent living situations and ensures that vocational, medical and essential needs of parents and children are secured.
Monmouth Counseling Services - Offers counseling and psychiatric treatment for children and families challenged by emotional and behavioral difficulties. The program works in collaboration with the Monmouth University Mental Health Counseling program.
Project FREE: Families in Recovery, Education and Employment - An outpatient substance abuse treatment program for women and their families who are DYFS involved and receiving public assistance. It also offers an evening intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment program for lower income men and women.
About Catholic Charities
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton is a faith-inspired social services agency that has helped more than six million individuals in its first century of service since being founded in 1913.Our mission directs us to alleviate human suffering which we approach through a wide variety of services including behavioral healthcare; domestic violence prevention and treatment; help with basic needs; housing assistance; job training and supported employment; and outpatient substance abuse treatment. We are a 501 (c)3 non-profit recognized by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as one of the most fiscally efficient in the country, using less than 10 percent of our revenue for administrative costs.