EAST LANSDOWNE – The Save Our School (SOS) Committee at Saint Cyril in East Lansdowne is coming down to the wire on the deadline to raise $200,000 to keep the school open next year, but fund-raising efforts are still going full steam ahead.
“Everyone’s overwhelmed at how successful this has been,” Joanne Leonard, a parishioner and committee member said on Monday. “It rekindles your belief in mankind.”
The committee was formed after the pastor, Father Kearns, said it would take $200,000 by the end of March to keep the school open another year. Sixth -grade student Tommy Geromichalos, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, energized them. Geromichalos wrote a letter to the Make A Wish Foundation asking them to keep the school open.
To date $150,000 has been raised. That doesn’t include funds that are being tallied from a pizza sale conducted by the parish CYO.
Volunteers will spread out over the county this weekend to sell chances on a Dodge Neon that was donated for the fund drive by David Dodge of Glen Mills. Leonard, who formerly worked for the owner David Kelleher, contacted him and asked for a donation to the SOS committee.
“He and his wife just had a little baby,” Leonard said. “He appreciated the fact he was healthy. He knew with his wife’s pregnancy how you worry about every little thing. You worry that the baby will be healthy.”
In addition Kelleher had the raffle tickets printed up for free and is buying a raffle ticket for everybody who buys a car from the dealership. Volunteers will show the car and sell tickets at the Granite Run Mall from 10 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
They also will be visiting three local parishes to sell the tickets after Saturday and Sunday masses. They will be at Notre Dame Church in Moylan, St. Madeline in Ridley Park and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Morton.
Word of the fund drive has spread far beyond the parish borders. “Catholic school children heard about our school and they’ve taken up collections to help our school children. Our principal Sister Barbara received checks for $165 and $190 from the school children’s collections,” Leonard said.
“It’s amazing. We were in the St. Patty’s Day Parade in Philly. We were out allowed to walk alongside the car and hand out letters that explained it. One man from Atlantic City said, ‘oh, I read this in the Atlantic City Press. He knew the whole story. So many people when they saw the car said right way they knew about us.”
Tax-deductible donations to the Save Saint Cyril School Fund can be sent to P. O. Box 1094, Lansdowne, PA 19050. Additional information can be found on St. Cyril’s Website http://www.saintcyril.org.
“When we come down to the end of March we’ll have father give us the official word. We still have other fundraisers planned,” she said.