Sucessful dinner for church fundraiser

By Joel Charron

The generosity of the St. Jean the Baptists’ parish was front and center Friday evening.

Roughly 400 people attended the “Restore the Church that Faith Built” fundraising dinner at the Verdi Club.

Father Brian Jane was very pleased with the turnout.

“It’s a wonderful turnout,” said Father Jane. “It’s a testament to the enthusiasm of the parishioners for the parish.”

Father Jane said the church is well on their way to reaching their goal of $2 million needed to pay for repairs. He said not only are recent repairs the church needs but the bell tower repair from roughly 10 years ago still hasn’t been wiped off the books.

St. John the Baptist parishioners look over the door prizes. Over 40 businesses donated items for the fundraising event on Friday evening

Over the last five years cash donations and pledges have raised $760,000 for the “Restore the Church that Faith Built” campaign. Father Jane said approximately 365 people have joined the campaign.

“It’s a five year campaign so I’m happy with the results so far,” said Father Jane. “We need to raise $2 million, we’ve got a good start.”

When asked if Father Jane was surprised by Friday night’s turnout, he responded no.

“This is a very generous parish so you kind of expect this sort of thing,” he explained. “I’m very, very happy. I deeply appreciate all of this.”

He also added since the church does not have a parish hall events such as this one, serves as a social event for the parishioners.

“It is just another way for all of us to get together,” Father Jane said.

A 16-person committee chaired by Eric Conte organized the dinner. That committee approached the church’s restoration committee, co-chaired by Joe Capaldi and John Purdie, about putting on the dinner.

“I think it’s a fantastic event,” said Purdie. “The committee has really stepped up and really helped the church. I couldn’t be more pleased.”

Unlike Father Jane, Purdie said he was surprised with the attendance, adding that early expectations were around 100 people.

“Never did we think it would be in excess of 100 people,” said Purdie.

He also mentioned other events are underway in order to reach out to the community.

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