In Your Midst
The Campaign For New Cathedral Vans
October 98

Old Cathedral Vans
One of the old cathedral vans delivering its precious cargo to the 10 am Mass.
What would the Cathedral do without its vans? Our Cathedral vans bring dozens of senior parishioners to Mass each Sunday; they take hundreds each year on "senior outings" to the coast, Snoqualmie Falls, the tulip fields or the zoo. Several nights a week, the), transport men from downtown to the Cathedral winter shelter and back again. Our vans are an essential part of the Cathedral's many outreach programs.

When one of the vans gave out several months ago, its irreparable hulk was sold for scrap. That equipment failure, which stranded a full load of seniors returning from a trip to the coast, brought one parish family forward offering to donate a new van.

"Over five years ago our family became parishioners," stated Debe Meder. "Our normal seats have become very special ... because they are in front of a group of beautiful women we now consider our adopted moms, grandmas and great aunts."

Debe continued, "At a recent Development Committee meeting, a lively discussion centered on the desperate need to replace the two old vans . . . I knew the vans had many special uses: the homeless, the shut-ins, the senior excursions . . . I especially knew that this was how our group of wonderful women arrived at Mass on Sundays. Without working vans, they would no longer be able to attend."

Thanks to the generosity of the Meder family, the Cathedral is now the proud owner of a brand new GMC van. The van was recently delivered to the Cathedral and an effort was launched to purchase a second van to replace the well-worn "Blue" van. A recent Van Committee meeting resulted in a parishioner offering a challenge pledge of $15,000 toward that second van. This means each dollar contributed from now on toward the $30,000 purchase price will be matched up for a total of $15,000. In other words, once we raise $15,000, the Cathedral will have two new vans.

Van Committee chair Debe Meder has obtained beautiful gold lapel pins in the shape of a van engraved with the words "God's precious cargo." Anyone making a gift of $100 or more, or a pledge of $10 or more monthly for 10 months, will receive one of these artfully created pins.

For additional information, call the parish office at (206) 382-4284. If donations exceed the amount needed to purchase the second van, the excess will be held in a Van Maintenance Fund to ensure the care of the van and the safety of both the passengers and drivers.

Rick Oldenburg is the new Director of Development for St. James Cathedral.

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