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The 150th anniversary of the St. Vincent de Paul Society will be celebrated Sept. 6 during the charity's second annual Top Hat Dinner at the Radisson Hotel, Cheektowaga.

Honored for work as "instruments of charity in our community" will be Monsignor John J. Conniff, the former director of Catholic Charities for the Buffalo Diocese; the Edwin Egan & Associates architectural firm; and Sister Margaret Mary Considine of the Catholic Workers Safe House in Niagara Falls.

The organization, invited here by Bishop John Timon when he founded the Diocese in 1847, took on its modern form in 1923 when Bishop William Turner asked every parish to establish a branch of the society.

"The St. Vincent de Paul Society has been an advocate for the poor since its inception," said Erie County Sheriff Thomas F. Higgins, chairman of the dinner.

"They provide meals on a daily basis, clothing for the less fortunate and assist the needy in a variety of services," he added. "It's a history of a lot of love and caring that went on in our community."

Rep. Jack Quinn, R-Hamburg, will be the featured speaker. Bishop Henry J. Mansell will be the awards master of ceremony.

Tickets for the 6 p.m. event are $75, available through the society at its new 1298 Main St. headquarters, or from Sheriff Higgins.

In addition to its parish-based charities, the society also operates a summer camp that has aided more than 50,000 children over the past 70 years.

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