The 2014 Pennies From Heaven campaign has exceeded its goal and once again local organizations will be the beneficiaries of the generosity of St. Mary’s College (SMC) students and the general public. The three-week campaign collected $18,500, well over the $12,000 goal.
“It’s simply amazing. Every year it seems that our students get caught up in the true reason for the season and realize the need in the greater community. They always go above and beyond when it comes to contributing to this Advent campaign,” said Campaign Coordinator and SMC Vice-Principal, Christopher Czop.
“I am very proud of what our students and staff have accomplished. In particular, I am proud of our students, as they have, once again, stepped up to a challenge and exceeded expectations,” said SMC Principal, Larry Pezzutto.
“As a former principal at St. Mary’s College, I have seen, first hand, the giving during the Pennies From Heaven campaign. Over the years, it has been a tremendous boost to school spirit and the city itself. I applaud the students and staff for putting together another successful campaign,” said Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) Director of Education, John Stadnyk.
The money raised in this year’s Pennies From Heaven campaign was distributed to community groups selected by the students, including the Soup Kitchen Community Centre.
“This donation means the women and children at our shelter can have Christmas. It can also help us provide transportation, food and clothing, if needed, throughout the year,” said Erin McColeman, a Child Support Worker at Women in Crisis.
Other cheques were presented to Children’s Rehabilitation Centre Algoma, Métis Association of Ontario, Pauline’s Place, KidsHope, Breton House, Habitat for Humanity (Sault Ste. Marie), St. Vincent’s Place, Autism Ontario, Breaking Away, and the Pregnancy Centre.
Also receiving a donation are HSCDSB family and attendance counsellors, who use all money received to purchase gift cards for families within school communities who don’t have the resources to have a Christmas celebration many of us are used to.
“To receive the money from this campaign is incredible. When the families receive the gift cards we purchase, they are just so appreciative and they just can’t thank you enough. They have said, ‘This is truly a miracle for us’. I truly feel blessed to be chosen by the students and staff at SMC to be the person to deliver these gifts,” said HSCDSB Counsellor, Cheryle Palmer.
This year’s Pennies From Heaven campaign held a little bit more meaning as just under two months ago, the former SMC teacher who created the fundraiser, Bob Denham, passed away. An idea hatched decades ago has been embraced by thousands of SMC students, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, and helped dozens of organizations and individuals throughout Sault Ste. Marie and area.
More Big Cheques Handed Out Too!