Our parish, St. Katharine Drexel in Beaver Dam, WI is one year into a three-year capital campaign to renovate our 120 year old church that is literally crumbling before our eyes. We did everything right…hired an architect to work up a plan and estimates, contacted a fundraising consultant, conducted a feasibility study and used their services to get us through the active portion of our campaign. The feasibility study told us that we would be capable of raising about $2M, and, by the grace of God, maybe even $3M. Members of our committee were very active in this fundraising effort and met with many parishioners face-to-face. Others were reached by telephone as well as postal mail. To date, we have $3.4M in pledges. This is quite an accomplishment considering we are a very small, rural town in South Central Wisconsin. The odds were against us. Even some in our own parish never thought we’d raise $1M, much less $2M or $3M. We are not a wealthy community.
So, why the GoFundMe ask? Based on our estimates, we put everything out to bid, confident we would have enough to cover the cost of the renovation, including incidentals. We are renovating a historic Beaver Dam landmark, after all. Surely we will run across incidentals! Unfortunately, the bids came in substantially higher than we anticipated and groundbreaking is scheduled for Saturday, May 4th. If we wait, the church will continue to deteriorate and costs will climb. So, we find ourselves in a position of not having enough money to complete the project. Plus, timing is such that all pledges won’t be fulfilled for at least two more years. This means borrowing will be necessary and that will be an added expense in and of itself.
Our parishioners are fantastic! They love their parish and they dug DEEPLY into their pockets, which is evident by the success of our campaign. Some have been able to scrounge up more, but still it is not enough.
We have strong faith and recognize that God is very active in our lives. In our prayers for a successful renovation, the idea came to put this ask out there. So, now we pray that anyone recognizing God’s blessings in their life, will help us out. Contributions of any size will help us chip away at our shortfall. We are taking a leap of faith & forging ahead.
In a world that is so full of crime, poverty, addiction, and hatred, members of this parish do so much good!! Help us continue to fill the world with faith, hope and love! Help us to rebuild our worship space in Beaver Dam, WI.
Thank you, so much, for your support! We cannot adequately express our gratitude and trust that you will receive countless blessings from God our Father!