Catholic Charities of Buffalo has exceeded its fundraising goal for the year.
In a release issued Monday, the charitable organization announced that it raised slightly more than $11 million in cash and pledges, eclipsing its 2014 Appeal goal of $10.8 million.
“As a result of the incredible generosity of the Western New York community, I have the great joy of announcing we have met, and surpassed, our goal again this year,” said Bishop Richard J. Malone, who gathered with Catholic Charities’ leaders, staff, Appeal leadership team members and volunteers to make the announcement at the organization’s Delaware Avenue headquarters.
Bishop Malone thanked all donors and supporters for helping Catholic Charities to raise funds needed to continue serving those in need throughout the eight-county Diocese of Buffalo.
“We are all familiar with the quotation ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step,’ but such a journey also requires a push to the finish line, and sometimes it’s those final steps that prove the most challenging. That was certainly the case with the 2014 Appeal,” said Bishop Richard J. Malone,
This year’s campaign launched on Jan. 7, with a goal of $10.8 million, $100,000 greater than the 2013 annual campaign. Bishop Malone said he knew this would be a difficult goal to reach, but he had confidence the Appeal would have a successful outcome.
“When we were last together back in mid-April following Appeal Week 2014 we were approximately $1.9 million or about 18 percent short of our $10.8 million goal. Over the past two-and-a-half months we continued to slowly chip away at our shortfall, reaching $9.8 million on May 12 and $10.3 million on May 21.
“During that timeframe we used numerous tactics, from Facebook and face-to-face meetings with prospective donors, to phone-a-thons in our parishes and second efforts with our corporate contacts, to direct mail requests and Tweets to help achieve our goal on this the final day of our fiscal year, and thus, the last official day of our annual fundraising campaign. Talk about going right down to the wire.”
Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF, Catholic Charities’ diocesan director, also expressed her appreciation for the successful outcome.
“I would like to add my deepest thanks to everyone here and to the entire community for their generosity," McCarrick said. "Because of your support, our staff will continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus to people in need throughout the diocese.”
Recognized and congratulated by Bishop Malone and Sister Mary for their outstanding contributions to the 2014 Appeal were:
• Lisa Marino, who lives in Allegany County and owns Club 57 restaurant in Hornell. She helped organize and run numerous, creative activities through her restaurant and other means to raise funds for Catholic Charities.
• Frank and Maria Sclafani, Sr., of Frank’s Sunny Italian Restaurant in Buffalo, who this year made Catholic Charities the beneficiary of its free will offering collected during its long-running St. Joseph’s Day Table.
• Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Clarence, which increased its total donations by $26,700 over last year to represent the highest dollar increase among all parishes in the Diocese.
• Sacred Heart Church in Lakewood, which saw the highest percentage increase, at 37 percent, in donations over the last year.
Appeal Chairs Mike and Maureen Pratt shared their gratitude and appreciation for this year’s achievement.
“We give credit and thanks to Western New York for recognizing the value of Catholic Charities,” Mike Pratt said. “We are amazed at the generosity and ‘heart’ of this community. Facing challenges, both situational and demographic, our donors stepped forward with increased pledges and gifts to fill any voids we were experiencing.”
Catholic Charities provides support to children, families and seniors in the Western New York area. Funds raised for Appeal 2014 support Catholic Charities’ 70 programs and services offered across 61 sites throughout the eight-county region.