BUFFALO - Catholic Charities of Buffalo officials and volunteer leaders reported today the 2015 Appeal exceeded its $10.9 million goal, with cash and pledges received as of June 30, the final day of the Appeal and the organization's fiscal year, totaling $11,152,026.31.
Msgr. David S. Slubecky, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Buffalo, representing Bishop Richard J. Malone, who was out of town and unable to attend, made the announcement at an afternoon news conference held at Catholic Charities' Montante Administrative Center in Buffalo.
"As a result of the incredible generosity of the Western New York community, it gives me great pleasure to announce we are here today to celebrate another successful Appeal. On behalf of those served by Catholic Charities and all those who in any way contributed to this year's success, I thank you for your support," said Msgr. Slubecky.
Citing what St. Paul in 2 Corinthians referred to as the "grace of giving," Msgr. Slubecky said, "The spirit of generosity was abundantly evident throughout the eight counties of our diocese as we progressed through the 2015 Appeal these past six months. Your efforts - your grace in giving - will allow us to continue serving our neighbors in need with great love and compassion, in Jesus' name."
Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF, diocesan director for Catholic Charities, expressed her gratitude for the successful outcome.
"I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to our clergy, Appeal volunteers and every one of our donors. The good within you made this outcome possible and your response to the God within you will allow us to remain mission focused for those most in need in our diocese," said Sister Mary.
Jake and Katie Schneider, 2015 Appeal chairs, shared their thoughts on this year's outstanding results.
"We are ecstatic to be able to be here today to help celebrate the culmination of another successful Appeal," said Jake. "We couldn't be more thankful and proud."
The Schneiders also thanked members of the leadership team and the parish, community and corporate divisions, and recognized the following organizations for their outstanding contributions to the 2015 Appeal:
· St. Louis Church in Buffalo, which exceeded its 2015 goal by 14 percent, the highest percentage above goal for all parishes in the diocese contributing $100,000 or more.
· St. Patrick Church in Fillmore, which exceeded its goal by 25 percent, the highest percentage above goal for all parishes contributing less than $100,000.
· St. Peter Church in Lewiston, which increased its annual contribution by nearly 20 percent over the past two years and increased its average gift size by 19 percent.
· Eileen Nowak and Cindy Scibetta, chairs of the 100 Percent Together for All Committee, a Catholic Charities employee Appeal group now in its 10th year. According to a recent survey, the average participation rate for employee giving is 33 percent. This year, 91 percent of the Catholic Charities staff donated a combined $62,061 to the Appeal.
"These awards show what a generous and caring community we all live in, and we are so thankful for all of your hard work," said Katie.
Funds raised for the 2015 Appeal support Catholic Charities' 70 programs and services offered across 61 sites throughout the eight-county diocese.
The theme of the 2015 Appeal was "Find Good Within," and the patron of this year's appeal was St. Francis of Assisi.