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"Friendraiser" Raises Friends, Funds

JOLIET, Ill. (DPI) - Faced with low turnout to the annual parish fundraiser for St. Catherine of Siena, organizers attempted to put a positive spin on the dismal results by reclassifying the event as a "friendraiser."

Mary Johnston, volunteer coordinator for the annual Carnival of Dreams, told the 40 volunteers who showed up to help manage the crowd of 16 attendees that it wasn't the amount of money raised that counted, but rather the amount of spirits invigorated and the new friends made that really mattered.

"We may not have the results we wanted, spending $2,500 to organize this great festival for our parish to raise money for the new school, but we certainly got more than we bargained for," she said. "I've met several new families that I didn't know, making this a very effective 'Friendraiser.'"

The Carnival of Dreams was slated to have a romantic carriage ride through the mock streets of New Orleans, jazz bands, homemade cajun cooking and a beer garden. After a review of events by the parish council, this was scaled back to donkey basketball and a face-painting clown. The event raised $178.35.

(Reported by Ross Brown)

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