Greetings Friends,

Happy Spring! We recently celebrated the Annual +Fr. Patrick Mendola Memorial Dinner at Salvatore’s. It was a wonderful evening, and though a fund raiser, it is the most sacred of our events. As usual, we honored a few of our special benefactors. The first was Certo Brothers Distributors. They have been a major support of our annual Golf Tournament, providing refreshment for weary golfers. The other honoree Paul Kubala, was on our staff from 1993-2016, and was recently appointed as Deputy Commissioner of Youth Services for Erie County. Both of these gentlemen spoke to the crowd and made us proud. Naturally, the highlight of the evening was the presentation of the scholarship sponsored by our friends at Ingram Micro, Inc. This year our honoree was PETER, who was with us over a year some months ago. P. graduated high school, worked at Tops Market, now works at Home Depot. He was recently honored by Home Depot as “employee of the month.” He has rebuilt bridges with his family and matured quite a bit, while living independently since leaving us. We are quite proud of Peter. Below is his testimony, shared at the banquet:

Good evening ladies and gentlemen first I want to thank you all for coming this evening.

Those who do not know who I am, my name is Peter { } and I am an Eagle scout from Troop 400, based out of St. Peter and Paul church, in the village of Hamburg. I was adopted from Russia in 1996 by my wonderful parents who are sitting in this room with me this evening.

I came to TFC because I was at a point in my life where I needed a wake up call. I needed to mature and learn how to become a responsible adult. The Franciscan Center taught me ways to grow spiritually and mentally while living there.

While living at The Franciscan Center for eight months, learned many Life Skills. One of these skills is job preparation. I learned how to properly fill out job applications. I also learned how to fold dress clothes the correct way so that they stay sharp and clean for job seeking and interviews. Another aspect relating to job preparation is communication skills. I learned how important communication is, in not only the work force, but also life in general.

While at The Franciscan Center I learned more in depth about money management. learned how to set up a checking account and how to go about direct deposit for a job. I learned how to budget money and how to keep a check book in balance.
One of my biggest excitements while living at The Franciscan Center was apartment research. I learned about costs of things such as rent, utility bills, security deposit, groceries and many more. This knowledge helped prepare me for living on my own.

While at the TFC, I also made two good friendships and had lots of fun times with the TFC staff. Some of the outings we would go out on would be to Desiderio’s dinner theater, movies, camping, hiking and day trips with the staff.

Another aspect while living at the TFC is spiritual growth. I began to read the bible more and have discussions with staff on spiritual growth and how it applies to daily life.

This evening I want to thank two very special people who are with me, my mom and dad for making me the man I am today and teaching me wonderful life lessons as I grew up in their home. Thank you for all you have done to get me to this pivotal point in my life and all that you continue to do to help me. If it was not for my parents I know for a fact that I would not be here today, so thank you for all you have done for me.

I also want to thank the wonderful TFC staff who helped me grow. I especially want to thank Father Joe and Maureen for pushing me to make difficult life changes. I thank everyone helping me and supporting me while I was living at the TFC. Thank you all for coming tonight and supporting me. I am truly honored to receive this award. Thank you and GOD Bless you all.

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