Donors ‘Voice Their Choice’ at FCC Fundraiser

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The Franciscan Community Center, a ministry of Holy Name of Jesus Church in New York City, where Daniel Kenna, OFM, is pastor, provides tutorial, theater, and after-school recreational programs for children and young people, counseling services for individuals and families, and socialization, wellness programs and meals for seniors. It also distributes food to more than 200 families and individuals through its food pantry and the 93rd Street Sandwich Line.

Throughout 2012, the center has held several fundraising events to celebrate its 20th anniversary. In May, the center held its inaugural event “Strike a Chord in the Community. Below, executive director Mildred Morency and youth education coordinator Jeff Smith report on its most recent event, “Voice Your Choice.

NEW YORK — On Nov. 15, the Franciscan Community Center held its 20th anniversary fundraising event — “Voice Your Choice”. This occasion allowed all in attendance to celebrate the FCC as an instrument of positive change in the community on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

“Voice Your Choice” brought together nearly 100 new and long-standing supporters of the FCC. During the gathering, which was held at the center from 7 to 10 p.m., attendees had the opportunity to speak with friars including Lawrence Ford, OFM, and Daniel (pictured above), board members and staff. Guests learned about the wide array of human service programs provided by the FCC, while pledging financial support toward the purchase of “wish list” projects for each of the center’s programs.

Thanks to the generosity of benevolent individuals who support the FCC’s mission of developing, managing and supporting outreach, educational and recreational programs that create positive change in the lives of those we serve, all of the center’s programs reached their goals and are now able to obtain their requested “wish list” items. These items, which ranged from Thanksgiving hams for our food pantry clients to books for our tutorial program students, will lead to a better quality of service for the children, women and men we serve every day.

Connecting with friends, networking, eating and drinking all added to the festivity of “Voice Your Choice” and made it a true celebration of 20 years of Franciscan outreach to the people of the Upper West Side. Throughout the night, guests were treated to the smooth sounds of Footlights Entertainment. The highlight of the evening was a musical presentation by the young people of Theater West 97, the FCC’s performing arts program. The children’s talent, poise and professionalism inspired all.

“Voice Your Choice” helped raise much-needed dollars as support toward the FCC’s multi-faceted programs and services.

Moved by the example of Francis, who heard the voice of God calling him to rebuild the church, the FCC will donate 25 percent of the evening’s proceeds to St. Francis Community Center on Long Beach Island, N.J. This donation will aid its rebuilding efforts as it recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

With this milestone celebration, the FCC embarks upon its future. As needs and circumstances continue to evolve, the leadership and staff remain committed to maintaining the heritage of Franciscan presence and outreach to the people of Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

— Mildred Morency, executive director, and Jeff Smith, youth education coordinator, are FCC staff members.