Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 11, 1999
Make that 15!
CSS campaign reaches goal for 15th straight year
Special to the WCR
Catholic Social Services' Sign of Hope fundraising campaign has gone over the top for the 15th consecutive year.
Msgr. Bill Irwin, founder of the agency and head of Catholic Charities, said the 1998 campaign was likely the most successful ever.
It raised $1,336,700 - eight per cent more than its goal of $1.23 million.
The Sign of Hope raises funds for some of the 112 programs CSS offers across central and northeast Alberta.
Irwin credited the work of the 350 campaign volunteers and the generosity of donors for the successful campaign.
"Their hard work combined with the spiritual and financial support of our donors, especially those in Catholic parishes, was the winning formula which enabled us to exceed our campaign goal," he said.
Kevin Murphy, chairperson of the campaign, noted that the campaign reached its goal despite employment uncertainty in the community and an increasing number of organizations competing for limited charitable money.
"The community came through for us once again," Murphy said in a press release. By donating to CSS, "they have offered a voice of support and have become a sign of hope to thousands of people less fortunate than themselves."
Al Pierog, president and chief operating officer of CSS, noted that several programs depend heavily upon the Sign of Hope campaign for funding.
Those include the service for abused seniors, individual and family counselling services, Safe House, and programs for people with HIV or AIDS.
More than 58,000 people of all faiths and cultures received professional services in 1998 from CSS, the largest agency of its kind in Canada.
CSS offers services in 22 towns and cities, with offices in Edmonton, Bonnyville, Lloydminster, Red Deer, Wainwright and Wetaskiwin.
The Sign of Hope campaign began in 1984 when CSS withdrew from the annual appeal when the United Way admitted Planned Parenthood, an abortion referral agency, to its list of member organizations.