BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Peaceprints™ prison ministry and transitional housing for ex-offenders here recently raised $13,000 for its newly-merged program.
Michael Oberst, OFM, executive director of Cephas, which merged with House of Hope to become Peaceprints, said its March 21 annual Phoenix Awards Dinner, held at the Buffalo Convention Center, was very successful, netting $13,000 of the $19,000 needed.
“The evening was very nice,” he said. “People had powerful stories.”
More than 220 guests attended the dinner whose honorary chair was Bishop Edward Kmiec of Buffalo.
Juliet Kraemer, program coordinator for Peaceprints, who attended her first Phoenix dinner, said she was impressed with the sincerity, communal spirit and the commitment of the guests, awardees and supporters.
“With the merger, we drew in a lot of new people and many said that they are already looking forward to next year’s dinner,” she said. “It was a great celebration of each individual success that truly makes Peaceprints program what it is.”
The Peaceprints merger is “coming along pretty well,” Michael said. In March, Cephas and House of Hope merged, with one board of directors. It has been operating as one ministry for several months now, but according to Michael, the official merger documents will not be signed until September.
The merged ministry, which Michael will direct until an executive director is hired, will allow the two groups to expand their support systems and services to ex-offenders and their families by sharing administrative and operational costs and maximizing resources.