Fundraiser handily surpasses goal of $5,000
By Gisele McKnight
‘Beyond our wildest dreams’ is how the Rev. Kevin McAllister described the success of the first annual bowling tournament to raise money for a library at Bishop McAllister College in Uganda. The tournament was held March 25 at the Bowl-A-Drome on Fredericton’s north side.
Kevin is the assistant curate in the Parishes of Marysville and Minto & Chipman, and has been a deacon only since last June.
“I’m green!” he said of organizing inter-parish challenges to raise money. “But it’s not me. It’s the people who’ve all come together. We’ve found something everyone could embrace.
“I want to thank all the participants,” he said. “They’ve gone above and beyond. Some even went door-to-door. Even parishes unable to participate still donated money.”
Organizer Harold Staples spent much of the afternoon doing the math, counting the money and coming up with a total, once the lanes were paid for: $7,489.95. The goal was $5,000.
“I wasn’t expecting that!” said Kevin. “That should buy some books… we’ll round that up to $7,500. It’s incredible!”
Harold raised more money than anyone else in the tournament — $435.
“I had a birthday in March,” he said. “I told everyone, ‘just give me money.’ I didn’t get any presents, but at least I got the money!”
Ironically, Harold was too busy with administrative tasks to actually bowl.
All Saints Church in the Parish of Marysville dominated the tournament from the moment it was announced. It organized the event, raised the most money, had the top individual fundraiser, had the highest female average and highest female single string scores and won the tournament.
That news seemed to take some of the wind out of the Rev. Paul Ranson’s sails, who earlier vowed to crush all opponents with his three Douglas & Nashwaaksis parish teams. He did not respond to requests for comment!
The Parish of Minto & Chipman fielded two teams with spares for each team.
“It’s a good cause and a good chance to socialize,” said Mel MacKenzie. “Kevin talked us into it!
When we heard about it, we thought it was a good cause. We don’t get a lot of chance to see other parishes.”
The parish’s ACW played a big role in their fundraising.
“The ACW donated the profits from our pancake supper — $950,” said Bonnie Anderson, adding the supper was particularly successful this year. “Our mission is usually to donate the profits to something, and when Kevin brought this up, this time everything fell into place.”
When Canon Paul Jeffries heard about the fundraiser back in January, he knew exactly where he wanted the money to go — a library at the school. It so happened that the school’s aim for 2017 is to improve reading skills in its students.
“This year we are looking to embark on the construction of a library that would create an inviting space for students to read for both learning and pleasure, while improving comprehension skills,” he said in January.
“So the news of the fundraiser has greatly encouraged us as we look to take up this new challenge, amongst the already existing ones.”
He too, is overwhelmed by the event’s success and God’s provision for the school.
“This is wonderful news, we are so very excited,” said Canon Paul. “We are now very encouraged with this tremendous start as we begin to plan for the library project.”
Three parishes partnered to provide supper for bowlers after the tournament ended. They were treated to soups and chili, biscuits and rolls and a delicious array of desserts, prepared by the people of Marysville, Minto & Chipman and Douglas & Nashwaaksis.
The day’s stats:
• 13 teams, from St. Michael & All Angels and St. Augustine (Minto & Chipman); All Saints (Marysville); St. Mary, York (St. Mary); St. John the Evangelist (Douglas & Nashwaaksis); Christ Church (Parish) Church (Fredericton); Synod Office; plus financial support from the Parish of Oromocto & Maugerville and the Parish of Ludlow & Blissfield. Both those parishes had other commitments and could not participate.
• Team raising the most money: All Saints, Parish of Marysville ($935)
• Individuals raising the most money: Harold Staples ($435), Yvonne Lyons ($305).
• Tournament winners: The Thunderbirds, All Saints, Parish of Marysville, with a total pin fall of 1,252 in three strings.
• Men’s high average: Rob Coburn, Christ Church (Parish) Church, Parish of Fredericton
• Women’s high average: Trisha Farnell, All Saints, Parish of Marysville
• Highest string, men’s: Derrick Brewer (121), St. John the Evangelist, Parish of Douglas & Nashwaaksis
• Highest string, women’s: Kelly Van Horne (105), All Saints, Parish of Marysville