Since 1945, the Catholic Community Services of Utah has helped the poor, the homeless, immigrants, refugees and other people in the community who need help regaining control of their lives.

Each year, it hosts a Humanitarian Awards Dinner and recognizes some of the local organizations that have helped with that mission.

At the dinner tonight, Nov. 7, at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City, one of the recipients will be the Catholic Woman's League of Utah.

Other notable honorees include Mark Franken, Spencer F. and Cleone P. Eccles, Roger and Wendy Steiner, the Diocean Council of Catholic Women, Elder Dieter F. and Harriet Uchtdorf and Florence Holtshouse.

Park City resident Linda Burt, the League's president, said she was taken aback when she heard about the award.

"It's quite an honor to be nominated and given this award as an organization," Burt said to The Park Record during an interview. "To be among the others who will also be given the award was a surprise."

The Catholic Woman's League was formed in 1916 with a purpose is to be spiritual, educational and philanthropic.

Then the attempt to fulfill the organization's philanthropic goals, the Catholic Woman's League selects a couple of charities each year and hold fundraisers.

"We've done fundraisers for the Ronald McDonald House and the Fisher House, which supports veterans on the Veterans Administration Hospital grounds," Burt said. "As you can see, the charities are not always Catholic based. We do choose one that belongs to the Diocese, and one that belongs to the community at large."

The spiritual goals are addressed in a meeting held on the first Friday of every month.

"We attend mass and pray the rosary with a certain intention in mind, whether it's to stop world hunger or stop domestic violence," said Burt, who is a Park City-based interior decorator. "And as far as our educational intents go, we work with Girls State, which is put on by the American Legion."

Girls State is a program designed for high-school junior girls who are preparing to enter their senior year, Burt explained.

"It's held in Cedar City and one to three girls, from each school in the state have the opportunity to experience what it's like to run a city or a government," Burt said. "We sponsor two girls from the local Catholic high schools in the valley Judge Memorial and Juan Diego, in Salt Lake City, and St. Joseph in Ogden."

In addition, the Catholic Woman's League collects items, such as hats, gloves and scarves, or toothpaste and toothbrushes that will be distributed to people through Catholic Community Services. The group also lobbies the state legislature on behalf of various social service groups.

"Our service area is the whole state of Utah, and not just Salt Lake or Park City or Ogden," Burt said. "We are unique, but not elite."

Burt also said anyone, not just members of the Catholic church, can join the league.

"We are also a part of the Salt Lake Council of Women," she said. "We really want to reach out to the community, and by community, we mean the entire state."

A few weeks ago, the Catholic Woman's League established a permanent endowment with a base of $10,000 under the Catholic Foundation.

"A permanent endowment means we will never nor can we take the money of $10,000 that we used to start the endowment out, but will use the money earned by the $10,000 to further our philanthropic purpose," Burt said. "We're excited about that, because it's something that we'll be able to grow and help benefit more organizations. We find, each year, that there is a growing need for assistance, especially with the way the economy is."

For more information about the Catholic Woman's League, email lindaburt20@hotmail.com.