Detroit Goodfellows reach $1.3m fund-raising goal

Charity gave Christmas gifts to 32,000 needy Detroit area kids in 2012.

By Pete Waldmeir

     With the help of many volunteers and donors from the Grosse Pointes, the Old Newsboys Goodfellow Fund of Detroit, Michigan's premier "charity without overhead," will meet their 2012 campaign goal of $1.3 million by the group's self-imposed Jan. 31 deadline.

      "As of now we are within reach, with total collections (including donated dental kits) of $1,191,880, which is 99 per cent of our target," Sari Klok-Schneider, the Goodfellows executive director, told the charity's 300 volunteer members in an email Thursday, Jan. 24.

       "We are deeply grateful to the thousands of generous donors all across the Detroit area and southeast Michigan who have helped us to keep our nearly century old pledge of No Kiddie with a Chriustmas," she added.

       The 99-year old Detroit Goodfellows annually pack and distribute more than 32,000 gaily wrapped Christmas packages to less fortunate Detroit area children between the ages of 5 and 13. The packages contain warm clothing, hats and gloves, books, dental kits, candy, toys and trinkets for all appropriate ages.

        They also buy hundreds of pairs of new shoes for needy kids, subsidize summer camp tuitions and make available emergency dental work for children.

        A portion of the money is raised through various public events, including an annual Tribute Breakfast and an annual newspaper Sales Day. But the bulk is raised through members' individual appeals, mailings and other efforts.

        Several Grosse Pointers serve on the Goodfellows executive board, raising funds and volunteering in other capacities. Among them, Dr. Mike Jennings, of Grosse Pointe Woods, who arranges a Michigan Dental Foundation gift to purchase those dental kits. Conrad Koski, also a Woods resident, is the volunteer, year-around Goodfellows' purchasing and packaging coordinator.

         Pointer Terese Yglesias is an executive board member and her husband, Emmett, runs the Goodfellows warehouse, shipping and receiving and package distribution. Farms' former mayor John Danaher serves on the board of directors.

          GP City resident Frank Brady, a grand nephew of Goodfellows founder James Brady, will be the organization's president during it's 100-year Centennial in 2014. Koski, Brady, my son Peter W. Waldmeir (Farms) and I all are past presidents.

          My son, Christopher Waldmeir, who resides in Grosse Pointe City, joined as a member in 2012.

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