VERO BEACH — Father Richard Murphy of Holy Cross Catholic Church on Hwy A-1-A was honored Thursday with the Dan K. Richardson Humanitarian Award at a banquet to be held in the Parish Hall. The event benefited the Gifford Youth Activity Center.
Murphy accepted the award on behalf of his parishoners, who have spearheaded many philanthropic and outreach projects and established an active volunteer referral and resource program. Just last year, Holy Cross raised $5.3 million to double the size of the sanctuary at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Fellsmere and to purchase the former North County Charter School adjacent to the church to be used for adult education. The mostly-Mexican congregation is the day-to-day mission church of Father John Morrissey and the parishioners at St. Sebastian Catholic Church in Sebastian. That means the Sebastian parish provides financial support, leadership, guidance and personnel to the mission church for the Fellsmere community.
The award is named after GYAC the founder and honors local philanthropists for their impact on the community. Previous recipients have been Bob and Ellie McCabe in 2008 and Alma Lee Loy in 2007. Father Murphy will be the first member of the clergy to receive the award.Freddie Woolfork and a group of Gifford children showed up on Tuesday at the Board of County Commission meeting where Fr. Murphy was recognized. The children also took a brief tour of the county administration building while they were there.