By BOB OLIVER
DEARBORN – The mission of Goodfellows organizations in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights is to ensure that no child goes without a Christmas. Based of the response the groups received during their newspaper sales Dec. 6 and 7, both believe that each community strongly supports the cause.
In Dearborn, the Goodfellows celebrated their 90th year by hitting street corners throughout the city with a goal of raising $50,000 over the two days of sales.
Treasurer Karl Fava said the finals numbers are not complete, but that the total amount raised should be around $45,000.
“We should be up from last year, when we raised approximately $40,000,” Fava said. “We are really happy with the turnout because the donations go to help many people in the community.”
Fava attributed the higher totals to the hard work of Dearborn police officers, who returned to volunteering with the Dearborn Goodfellows last year, and an increase in youth involvement with the group.
“The Dearborn police really came out in force this year,” Fava said. “We also had a lot of high school students volunteering, many for the first time. They did a tremendous job and we really hope they stay involved with the Goodfellows moving forward.”
Fava said two of the busiest corners for volunteers were at Cherry Hill and Telegraph and Michigan Avenue and Outer Drive.
“The Dearborn police were at Michigan and Outer Drive and on Saturday they brought a SWAT vehicle out with them, which really received a lot of attention,” Fava said.
Fava said the numbers are up, but that there is usually a good response from the community for the Goodfellows, who annually provide a Christmas for more than 900 children and 350 families in the city.
“The community responds well to the Goodfellows,” Fava said. “About 90 percent of the money from the donations goes back to the community. We’ve been around for a long time and we have created a legacy of helping hundreds of individuals and families each Christmas.”
In Dearborn Heights, the Goodfellows were also out in force over the weekend, celebrating their 85th year of volunteering.
The total draw for the city was $34,101, which is about $1,000 less than they raised in 2012. Donations received this fall should make up for the shortfall.
The highest-grossing corner was at Telegraph and Ford Road, where the police and their reserves brought in $6,269. The police were honored for having both the highest Saturday and combined weekend totals.
Also honored by the Goodfellows were the Msgr. Hunt Knights of Columbus for raising $2,712 on Friday and the Morez Piotroski VFW Post for increasing its sales 64 percent over last year.
(Bob Oliver can be reached at [email protected])