six years ago, Lucio Appolloni called me for a meeting on Preston
Street at the rented office,” says Gino Buffone of his start
with Villa Marconi. A number of other people were called upon for
their services as well, including current president of Villa Marconi,
the first phase of fundraising for Villa Marconi, volunteers such
as Buffone went door-to-door to solicit donations from neighbours
and “paesans” (countrymen). Eight months later, this simple
method had raised $60,000.
family offered money to Villa Marconi,” says Buffone. “We
received a positive response for the most part.”
addition to the money being raised through events at the Marconi Centre,
the fundraising committee has established a new campaign to help fund
the second phase of construction of Villa Marconi.
are selling the bricks that are at the entrance of the Marconi Centre.
For $1,000 we put people’s names on a brick which will remain
there for basically forever,” explains Buffone about the aptly
named Brick-by-Brick Campaign.
Marconi president Luigi Mion
(flanked by Lucio Appollini on left and Mayor Bob Chiarelli on
right) cuts the ribbon to officially open Villa Marconi.
to Buffone, the most challenging thing about fundraising is to explain
to the community that the donations are benefiting the facility, but
are also providing a tax write-off for the donor.
are three things about donations: one, they help Villa Marconi, two,
they get a tax benefit, and three, with the brick-by-brick campaign,
their names are immortalized,” says Buffone, who hopes this
new idea will stimulate the charity of the community to raise the
necessary $2.5 million.
is some support from corporations, but Buffone believes that only
half of the funds raised come from corporate donations, the rest comes
from personal donations.
Italians have a corporation now run by Italians and managed by Italians
that will continue for the future,” says Buffone. “So
we should all be proud and come on board and try to help.”
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