CORNWALL, Ontario – A highly respected Archbishop wants to put a collar on the Cornwall fundraising title held for many years by lawyer Sean Adams in support of the Children’s Treatment Centre.
Every fall, Adams challenges all comers in a contest to raise the most during the Celebrity Walk and Breakfast, the Centre’s biggest annual fundraiser. He’s been unbeatable for 15 years.
But in what’s shaping up as a David and Goliath showdown, the fundraising giant will now face spirited competition from Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, who was appointed in January as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall. Supporters call it a match made in heaven because the contest will generate interest and dollars for the Centre’s vital work in addressing child abuse prevention and treatment.
Archbishop Prendergast is following the example of his predecessors — Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher and Bishop Marcel Damphousse — by accepting the challenge from Mr. Adams to raise the most money. Both served on the Celebrity Walk and Breakfast Committee while serving as Bishop of this Diocese.
But Archbishop Prendergast has a new strategy to raise the most money in this friendly competition. Accepting the challenge on condition he gets the same $20,000 handicap Adams offered in previous years to Bishop Damphousse, he also wants Adams to set a clear deadline for the end of the fundraising competition, instead of an open-ended competition. “In our approach to the contest rules,” says the lawyer with a smile, “it seems the Archbishop wants to follow the letter of the law, instead of the spirit of the law.”
Every year, Adams raises about a third of the fundraiser’s total. He praises his new rival’s resolve and steadfast commitment to the community, but promises a lively campaign. Still, he’s taking nothing for granted. “I pride myself on my contacts and networking,” Adams says. “But the Archbishop is connected at a much Higher level.”