Happy Spring Everyone!
Lots of good news to share this month. As part of our continuing outreach activities, AFPVO Board members met with two Counselors at the Romanian Embassy and had very productive discussions with them about possible avenues for collaboration and suggestions for various Romanian-American organizations to contact about working with AFPVO in the future. Continuing in that vein, Frank and Donna had a telephone meeting/interview with the CEO of United Planet about the possibility of working together to apply for grants for Pro Vita.
This coming weekend, May 27, is the annual running of “100 for the Children”. This ultra-marathon starts in Bucharest and ends in Valea Scrzii many hours later. It is a major, successful fundraiser for Pro Vita with more than 100 runners from Romania and other European countries. Frank and Donna were lucky enough to be at Pro Vita for this incredible day in 2016, helping with decorations, chauffeuring runners, preparing food, and welcoming the exhausted runners when they crossed the finish line at around 9:30 PM Saturday night. There are a series of videos on YouTube, capturing the race for the last several years. We encourage you to share in the commitment and excitement by viewing them on FaceBook either under 100 for Children or on the Asociata Pro Vita homepage. In viewing the prior years’ races, I was amazed to see that some runners actually finished in daylight!
Another first! During their Spring Service Week in March 2017, Fr. Sean and his cohort of 10 dedicated 10th graders from St. Stephen and St. Agnes School (SSSAS) in Alexandria, VA joined the Tanases in welcoming two staff members from the American Embassy in Bucharest for a tour of Pro Vita in Valea Screzii. We hope that this visit is the start of an on-going, supportive relationship between the Embassy and Pro Vita.
Melanie Tanase says that several more girls will be moving into the Teen Home/Social Center in Valenii de Munte, filling it to capacity. As the school year comes to an end, one graduating senior is applying to the University of Bucharest to study psychology and join the three Pro Vita young adults already studying in university. All the houses in Valea Screzii are currently filled with more than 420 beneficiaries in Valea Screzii, Valea Plopului, and Valenii de Munte.
The Board has decided to contract to refresh and upgrade the AFPVO website. Work will take place this summer, and we are excited to have a more Board-friendly interface. Taylor Jensen, who was one of the original website designers as his senior project at SSSAS, will be our IT guru.
Saving the best news until last — after unexpected delays, all the red tape has been cut, the neighbors placated, and demolition has begun on the old wooden building on the 1910 police station property in Valenii de Munte. The architect’s plans are in hand, and once the demolition is completed, construction can start on the expansion of the sewing enterprise and the new metal fabrication enterprise. The Economic Trampoline is on its way! So far, AFPVO has raised about 80% of the estimated costs for this significant initiative. Another $10,000 will make this dream of economic independence a reality! Please consider making a donation today. As an incentive, the AFPVO Board will match every donation, dollar for dollar, up to $5000. As a reminder, the most cost effective way to donate is by sending a check to AFPVO, 10005 Donal Lane, Vienna, VA 22181. If Pay Pal is more convenient, please use it, remembering that they retain around 3% of your donation as a processing fee.
As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions to improve our communication with you, our loyal Pro Vita supporters.
The AFPVO Board,
Fr. Sean Cavanaugh