Weekly Feature



2011-12-08 / Local News

Pantry’s expansion fund in the home stretch

Recent donations bring year-to-date total to $40K
by KIMBERLY MCDOWELL Editor


Queen of Heaven Religious Education students Caden Maciejewski, front left, Justin Jablonski, and siblings Regan and Patrick Shanahan, front right, were among those who helped raise more than $1,000 for the West Seneca Food Pantry expansion fund. Queen of Heaven Religious Education students Caden Maciejewski, front left, Justin Jablonski, and siblings Regan and Patrick Shanahan, front right, were among those who helped raise more than $1,000 for the West Seneca Food Pantry expansion fund.

Two months ago when the expansion fund for the West Seneca Food Pantry began, director Mary Lou Dietrich was hopeful to raise even a portion of the $50,000-goal by spring.

Now, about four-fifths of those funds have been collected, and the need to expand the pantry’s operating space is inching its way closer to becoming a reality.

The response has been overwhelming, Dietrich said, who thanks the various organizations, individuals, churches and other groups that have so far made donations to the cause, both from within the Town of West Seneca and other nearby communities.

From the pantry’s hometown community, the Queen of Heaven Religious Education program is one of this week’s contributors.

A total of $1,145 was recently collected from each student who took home an official expansion fund coin bottle, according to Director Barbara Maloney.

Teachers in the Religious Education program explained to students that the coins they’re able to collect in the bottles would help those less fortunate in their own community. These are people from the students’ own neighborhoods who might need the help of and food from the pantry, they said.

Students in both the traditional and family Religious Education programs at Queen of Heaven, from pre-kindergarten through tenth grade, collected throughout the month of November.

Maloney said that out of the 264 bottles that were distributed to students, 131 have been returned.

“I was flabbergasted,” she added, also noting that the students’ efforts yielded one of the highest amounts to be fundraised by the educational program.

The West Seneca Food Pantry expansion fund received a total of $3,093 in donations this past week, bringing the year-to-date total to $40,004.63. Other contributors from this week are:

West Seneca East Senior High School’s Trojan Nation, National Honor Society and Student Council; Nancy Rang’s class from West Seneca East High School; Bridgett Braunschidel; Lynn Barrett of West Seneca West Student Council; Kathryn Campbell; Anonymous; Jim Roll; Mr. and Mrs. Swoboda; Donna Brown, c/o West Seneca East Senior High School class; Irene Kohl; W.E.L.C.A. of St. Paul’s; Robin Jubulis; Mary Joan Mahoney; Charles and Constance Arnold; Eric and Carmen Kruder; Shirley Vanorman; Gregory and Catherine Hall; Joseph and Marcia McKibbin; Mary and Kevin Gallivan; Daniel Stribick; West Seneca Masonic Lodge No. 1111; Charles and Constance Arnold; James Carr; Thomas and Dorothy Mancuso Jr.; West Elementary PTA, c/o Amy Zatluhal; Western New York Federal Credit Union; Stone Art Memorial Company Inc.; Irene Gick; Theresa Krawczyk; Richard Gryksa; and James and Patricia Colmerauer.

According to Dietrich, hundreds of dollars have been donated by Southgate Pizza and The Fitting Place, a children’s shoe store inside the Southgate Plaza. Both businesses have donated a portion of the proceeds from certain sales to the expansion fund.

Raising $50,000 will allow for a 20- by 50-square-foot extension to be built onto the rear of the old parish house behind St. David’s Church on Seneca Street. The goal is to begin the construction of this expansion by spring.

Collections for this initiative, sponsored exclusively by The Bee, began in late September.

Anyone interested in making a donation can mail a check payable to The West Seneca Food Pantry, P.O. Box 1127, West Seneca, NY 14224.

For more information, contact Dietrich at 510-7960.

email: kmcdowell@beenews.com

 

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