It happened spontaneously! One of those moments when you realize God is asking something of you!

It was August, and I went to ask our new pastor, Father Adam Haake, if I could use the gym at Coronation of Our Lady Parish, Grandview, Mo., for a simple celebration of my 80th birthday. He was supportive and then spoke of how we need to expand and enhance our parish outreach services.  He said, “What would you think of having Sister Clare’s Birthday Charity FUNdraiser for the benefit of helping the poor?” My “yes” meant being chairperson of the event that was celebrated on Dec. 1, 2018.

The FUNdraiser was lots of fun and a great success. We had hoped to raise $10,000, but as of this date our total cleared amount is $20,100. God blessed our efforts, and we will be implementing some new plans of service to the poor who come to our door. We are renaming our parish ministry the St. Vincent de Paul Outreach and have a beautiful icon of St. Vincent that will greet our pantry guests.

The evening included a catered dinner; tributes by Bobby Simkins to Conway Twitty and Elvis (at left); a random raffle (Sister Lucy Walter won a desktop computer!); an art gallery silent auction; a 50/50 drawing; and an hour of dancing to end the evening!

I’ll remember “80” and getting to be part of something so good alongside so many loving people. Some of our SCL family were able to join me in celebrating: Sisters Cele Breen, Mary Arthel Cline, Kevin Marie Flynn, Maureen Hall, Josephine Macias, Jean Anne Panisko, Phyllis Stowell, Lucy Walter and Noreen Walter.