April 12, 2017
By Father Garry Giroux
In the early stages of planning for the Vocations Summit, INSPIRE: Called to Love, Bishop LaValley decided there would be no registration fee for any of the participants at the event; he also decided there would be no cost for the midday meal or for childcare during the event. Bishop LaValley did not want cost to be an obstacle to people taking part in INSPIRE.
To be sure, there were some who had misgivings about the choice to offer INSPIRE free of charge. But, both Bishop LaValley and the members of the Vocations Summit Planning Team were confident that God would provide.
God’s providence did not disappoint!
Aside from planning and executing the arrangements for INSPIRE: Called to Love, the Planning Team was also tasked by Bishop LaValley with raising $125,000 towards the cost of the event.
God marvelously inspired generosity in the hearts and minds of many people and organizations; the total revenue realized by the fundraising efforts for INSPIRE was $142,679.
The first phase of the fundraising strategy for INSPIRE was a special second collection; this collection took place in all the churches of the diocese on the weekend of April 16 & 17, 2016. Parishioners and pastors demonstrated a wonderful spirit of generosity and cooperation in their support of this special collection. The collection realized a total of $92,490.
The second phase of the fundraising efforts involved individual solicitation of businesses throughout the North Country, the Knights of Columbus on the national, state and local levels, parish societies, individual donors, the Catholic Daughters and vendors who hosted displays during the Vocations Summit.
The second phase of fundraising efforts realized a total of $50,189.
The total cost for INSPIRE was $127,965. Expenses for the Vocations Summit included: the rental of the Olympic Center Complex and the Lake Placid High School, the mid-day meal, the fees and travel expenses for the speakers, lodging and meals for speakers and bishops, printing of programs, materials for registration and signage, audio-visual equipment and staff, decorations for the various venues at the Olympic Center, fees for musicians and music, supplies, crafts and materials for childcare, advertising and fees for a PR consultant.
With Bishop LaValley’s approval, the excess contributions were given in three equal shares of $4,904.67 to the diocesan Offices of: Vocations, Youth Ministry and Evangelization; these funds have been distributed to these ministries with the intention that they continue the goals and work of the Vocations Summit.
The members of the INSPIRE Planning Team were: Father Scott Belina, liturgical planning; Deacon Mark Bennett, fundraising; Marcia Bugbee,childcare; Marika Donders,publicity; Kelly Donnelly,youth rally; John Fehlner, logistics and volunteers; Carol Gonthier, graphics and program designer; St. Joseph Sister Marie Cordata Kelly, registration; Hon. Robert Main, Jr.,decoration; Dominican Sister Elizabeth Menard, registration; Patrick Murnane, fundraising coordinator; Father Bryan Stitt, liturgical planning; Michelle Watkins, logistics and volunteers; and Father Garry Giroux, general coordinator.
We extend special thanks to the Sisters of St. Joseph at the Watertown Motherhouse, the Diocesan Fiscal Office personnel, Linda Ross, Valerie Mathews, Gidget Kimble, and Ian Fawcett for their invaluable assistance with INSPIRE: Called to Love.