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--- Issued May 9, 2012

The Erie Housing Authority, with 66 employees, raised $17,205 and placed number three in this year’s March of Dimes fundraising campaign. The Authority presented its check for that amount to Ben Chaffee, division director for the March of Dimes, on May 8, smashing last year's record of

The only two teams out of 250 that topped the Housing Authority this year were Erie General Electric and Erie Insurance.

“That boggles my mind,” said Ben Chaffee, division director for the March. “Just about everywhere else that I’ve heard of, it’s the largest team that raises the most money. But in Erie, it’s not that way. Again, the Housing Authority continues to be our poster team for other teams to follow. It continually places among the top three teams.”

Chaffee praised the Authority for being very creative in the ways it incorporates team walk-money, for the walk on Presque Isle, with year-round wraparound events like selling stuffed animals, candy bars, Blue-jeans for Babies, and shows and events put on by employees and residents in the Authority’s senior buildings, topped off by this year’s April 29 “March for Babies.”

“We are so grateful,” he said. “We simply couldn't continue to do what we do for the Erie Community without the support of the Housing Authority. “The Erie Housing Authority’s contributions are increasing in these difficult economic times when contributions from so many other teams are decreasing.”

John Horan, executive director of the Authority, said that the Housing Authority appreciates the generous support of its staff, residents (especially our public housing youth who raised $1,557), program partners and contractors for again raising a record amount of money for the March of Dimes. Horan gave special thanks to Michael Fraley who chaired the Authority’s walk efforts this year and exceeded our goal by $1,200.

“The only reason this works is a that all of our staff and partners buy into what the March of Dimes does and supports it as much as they can – in a great part, I think, because they know most of the money raised in Erie stays in Erie to help premature babies. The simple fact is, if just one group doesn’t participate, we don’t make our goal.”

This year’s fund-raising events, groups, and totals raised included:

  • Youth contributions from public housing resident fundraising efforts -- $1, 557.
  • Youth Center members go door-to-door to collect contributions.
  • Blue jeans Friday -- employees paid $2 to wear blue jeans to work on Fridays -- $2,017.
  • Candy bars -- sold every day throughout the Erie Housing Authority’s developments -- $1,204.
  • Stuffed animals - sold at Easter and Christmas -- $835.
  • Senior Citizen activities, such as a medieval fair, tea parties, soup/hot dog/sloppy joe luncheons and Bingo for Babies -- $2,301.
  • Contractor contributions -- $2,900.
  • 20 landlords in the Authority’s Section 8 program contributed -- $1,310.
  • Special events – such as quilt raffles, 50/50 sales and sub sandwich sales-- $2,660.

The HACE Team 2012 tee shirt was designed by Diamonique Hanes, a 15-year old resident of the John E. Horan Garden Apartments.

For more information, contact John Horan at 452-2425 or Ben Chaffee at 833-4941.