Appeal organizers make final push

With just one month to go, organizers of the Catholic Courier/Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal hope an influx of last-minute donations and strong participation in an upcoming Bowl-A-Thon fundraiser will push the annual appeal closer to its goal of $50,000.

As of Jan. 18 the appeal had raised $38,155.40, or just 76.3 percent of the goal, according to Donna Stubbings, appeal coordinator and circulation manager for the Catholic Courier and El Mensajero Católico newspapers. Of that total, $578.40 was raised in a single day through the appeal’s participation in the second-annual "ROC the Day." Conducted online on Dec. 12, 2012, "ROC the Day" was a one-day, communitywide fundraising event to benefit nonprofit organizations.

The 43rd-annual appeal supports the emergency funds of Catholic Charities offices and affiliated diocesan agencies within the Diocese of Rochester’s 12 counties. These agencies use Christmas Appeal proceeds all year long to help meet the basic needs of people facing short-term financial crises who are not eligible or have not yet qualified for other forms of assistance.

Donations may be made to this year’s campaign through Feb. 28.

"Last year at this time we had $40,545.20, or 81.1 percent of our goal," Stubbings said. "I believe that the biggest reason that we are trailing last year’s total is that we had an anonymous donation of $2,500 last year that we have not received this year."

The appeal’s organizers hope a Bowl-A-Thon planned for Feb. 2 at L&M Lanes in Rochester will help fill the appeal’s coffers. Each bowler paid a $20 participation fee, which included the cost of three games and shoe rental. Bowlers also were encouraged to solicit per-pin pledges from non-bowlers.

This will be the second year L&M Lanes has hosted a Bowl-A-Thon to support the Christmas Appeal. Last year’s event raised approximately $850, Stubbings said. The results of this year’s fundraiser were not known at press time.

Stubbings is still hopeful that donations will continue to come in throughout the month of February.

"A donation does not have to be large to make a difference. Every little bit does help, and I would encourage anyone who could donate even $5 or $10 to do so," she said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: To donate to the Catholic Courier/Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal, mail checks to the Catholic Courier, PO Box 24379, Rochester, NY 14624. Checks should be made payable to the Christmas Appeal.

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