CORNWALL – A packed ballroom at the Best Western Parkway Inn had a good laugh at the expense of a man of the cloth and, in the end, raised thousands for the Children’s Treatment Center Friday night.
It wasn’t the first time Rev. Kevin Maloney has been roasted. He’s been on the receiving end four times to help the self-supporting center that treats children suffering from physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
In the end, the $100-a-plate dinner raised $40,700.
The event was emceed by retired Cornwall police officer Bob Burnie.
Four roasters stepped up to the mic: Rev. Terrence Prendergast, Katie Burke, Michael Despatie and Rev. Claude Thibault – all people who’ve known Maloney for decades both professionally and personally and through their connection to the Catholic church.
A fifth roaster – Coun. Claude McIntosh – also had a turn at Maloney but McIntosh’s roast was done before the televised portion of the event in order to abide by municipal election laws.
Many poked fun at Maloney’s characteristic habits, such as having the gift of gab, long homilies and his Irish background.
On the serious side, they called him a “tenacious” fundraiser for the CTC and a “selfless” person. He’s “just simply a nice guy…he’s real,” Rev. Thibault said.
Maloney then had his turn to rebut his roasters. After some lighthearted jokes, he called the night a “celebration” and said he agreed to be roasted a fourth time because he would do anything to support the CTC.
“I did this because I believe the part of the role of a minister, of no matter what faith he is, is to be a healer and the most important people that we can heal are those that are injured or hurt,” Maloney said.
“The reason why I’m here tonight. The reason why I’ve let you tell all of these lies is because a few lies won’t hurt me but your presence here tonight will help people, they will help our children, and for that I am grateful.”
He then received a standing ovation.