When you open your mailbox this week, you will likely find a card from The 2012 Lowell Mason Foundation Annual Appeal, thanks in large part to the teens of the United Church of Christ.
When the LMF found itself in need of some help preparing its 2012 annual fundraising mailer, they reached out to the United Church of Christ and its Senior High Fellowship (grades 9-12). Working with Director of Student Ministries Wendy Ludwig, Rick Abecunas from the Lowell Mason Foundation put together a “folding party” where the students folded, sealed and pre-sorted the Medfield town mailing, which will then be delivered to nearly 5,000 households and businesses in town.
“I was very pleased when Rick called me to see if this was something the Senior High Fellowship would like to help with,” said Ludwig. “Music is extremely important to our worship here at the UCC; in fact, many of Lowell Mason’s hymns are in our songbook.”
Lowell Mason wrote over 1,600 hymns, including “Joy to the World” and “Nearer My God to Thee.” He was born in Medfield in 1792 and, in April 2011, his birthplace was saved from demolition and moved to Green Street at Hinkley Pond, where it is currently undergoing restoration.
“We have a $50,000 annual appeal goal this year,” said Abecunas. “While we replaced the sills last year at a cost of over $21,000, we still need permanent internal supports in the basement, to pour a concrete floor and to patch the roof. In addition, we need to connect utilities, such as water, sewer and electricity. In order to start this work in the Spring, it is critical that we reach our current goal of $50,000”.
Abecunas, co-chair of the Foundation’s fundraising committee, has been instrumental in a number of initiatives in 2012, including the development of the Lowell Mason Discount Card and a poster depicting Lowell Mason’s life. With the Lowell Mason Discount Card, a person can get various discounts at over 50 Medfield and surrounding merchants, including 16 restaurants. The card is good for one year and the $50 cost is entirely tax deductible.
The poster, which is also the cover art of the mailer, was designed by Barbara Bose of Bose Arts in Virginia. Both the poster (for donations of $25 to $49) and the discount card (for donations of $50 to $99) are premium items given to donors in recognition of their support.
“We very much wanted to enjoin the local community in our project”, said Abecunas. “The discount card helps the merchants by driving more business to them, and for the residents who use the card, it can pay for itself very quickly. It’s a real win-win. The poster we made has turned out really well. We have sold quite a few at different events in town. ”
As a “thank you” to the Senior High Fellowship, The Lowell Mason Foundation will sponsor a “make your own sundae” party for the group.
“It’s the least we can do given how they have pitched in to help us," Abecunas said.