Catholic Charities of Buffalo met its 2017 Appeal goal by raising $11 million thanks to a strong push at the end of this year's campaign, officials announced Tuesday morning.
The campaign brought in $11,069,168, down slightly from last year's $11.1 million total. But the drive has met its target in 91 of its 93 years, with the exceptions of 2008 and 2009.
Money raised from parishes in the Diocese of Buffalo, the wider community and local corporations funds 70 programs and services across 61 sites in the area, serving Catholics and non-Catholics.
One month ago, organizers raised concerns about the pace of the fundraising, which began Jan. 18 and ended June 30. "It was a wild ride," said Gerard Mazurkiewicz, who chaired the appeal with his wife, Barbara.
Also Wednesday, Dan Linenfelser, parish chairman at St. Stephen Parish on Grand Island, received the Service in Love award to honor 50 years of appeal service. Linenfelser is stepping down after 36 years as parish chairman.