Franciscan Foundation Serves Up Successful Benefit Dinners for Holy Land Christians

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The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land recently held two separate benefit dinners for Christians in the Holy Land raising over $190,000.

Crowded dining room for the Indiana Benefit Dinner

Over the last twenty years we've managed to raise $6 million in university scholarships alone.

Two benefit dinners recently hosted by the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land raised over $190,000, organizers say.

The first of the dinners was held in Lincoln, NE. Fr. Jay Buhman, a diocesan priest who has traveled to the Holy Land more than once was responsible for organizing the FFHL benefit dinner. It was a first for the Nebraska area. The second dinner was held at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis, IN. This was the seventh dinner for Indiana.

Richard Sontag is director of Tekton Ministries. His company, which handles public relations and non-profit business aspects of the FFHL said that he was very pleased with the outcome. "We've still got money coming in," he said, "but combined, we're looking at over $190,000."

Money raised by the dinners benefit humanitarian and educational needs of Christians in the Holy Land, a minority that faces discrimination on multiple fronts, according to FFHL President, Fr. Peter Vasko, ofm.

Fr. Peter and supporters have been working for 20 years to make the foundation's mission a reality. "It's our job to preserve the Christian presence in the Holy Land," Fr. Peter said. "Without Christians in the Holy Land, the churches, shrines and holy sites will become nothing more than monuments and museums."

The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land has made significant strides in its 20-year-history. "Over the last twenty years we've raised over $6 million in university scholarships alone," said Fr. Peter. "That's not to mention the hundreds of grade school children that have been sponsored over the years, the houses that have been renovated, the poor who have been help and fed, the subsidized housing that has been built. Christians in the United States have been very helpful and sympathetic to the plight of their brothers and sisters in the Holy Land."

Sontag couldn't agree more. "I am grateful for the many donors and volunteers who help to raise money and awareness on behalf of the Christians in the Holy Land. The money raised goes a long way, he said. "We can't begin to thank people enough."

For more information about the FFHL, visit their press room at

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Chris Weldon
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