Pelham Cares’ fundraising coordinator Nancy Yungblut. BERNIE PUCHALSKI

In a perfect world, Pelham Cares wouldn’t need to fundraise.

But that is far from reality and the non-profit charitable organization that has been around for some three decades needed to come up with creative ways to raise money to help cover the costs of being much more than a food bank. In addition to providing food to families in need, Pelham Cares’ 75-plus volunteers and staff offer transportation to medical appointments, assist youth financially to participate in recreation and educational activities and referrals.


“As our numbers increased and our clients increased it became more and more evident that we needed to put our face out there,” said Nancy Yungblut, Pelham Cares’ fundraising coordinator. “It became evident that we needed to do some fundraising and not rely on grants that are available and the wonderful, generous community that we live in.”

Helping kids take part in sports is the major thrust of Pelham Cares’ latest fundraiser, called the “Thanks for Giving Raffle,” which features tickets for $10 and three tickets for $25.

The draw will be made via Facebook Live Oct. 7 at 5 PM at the Pelham Farmers Market. The prizes are: a Vintage Hotels package valued at $1,500; a Great Wolf Lodge package worth $1,200; a $1,000 voucher from Lorraine Simpson Travel; Niagara Helicopter rides for two worth $350; and a Colaneri Estate Winery “Discover the Vineyards with Donkeys” package valued at $250.

The Thanks for Giving raffle is the latest in a series of fundraisers to address the recreational needs of youth such as swimming lessons, piano lessons or registration fees for all different kinds of sports. Its predecessors included events at Lookout Point in 2016, Bissell’s Hideaway in 2017, and the Fonthill Legion in 2018 and 2019.

The high point of the fundraising campaign was garnering $17,000 in proceeds in 2019. In total, more than $30,000 has been raised since 2016.

Covid then put a stop to all that type of fundraising for us but we would like to run that type event again

“Covid then put a stop to all that type of fundraising for us but we would like to run that type event again,” said Yungblut.

In 2020, the organization ran a campaign called “Pelham Cares Gives Back,” which raffled off gift cards from local businesses.

The idea for Thanks for Giving came from a meeting of Yungblut’s fundraising committee.

“Everybody was talking about how much they missed travelling and going away and I said, ‘Why don’t we come up with something that would help that?’ We tossed things around a little bit and we wanted to keep things as local as possible because our local tourism is suffering,” she said.

Tickers may be purchased at https://pelhamcares.org/contact-us/, by visiting the office on Highway 20, or from Pelham Cares board members.

The organization has printed 1,000 tickets for the raffle.

“It would be awesome if we could sell out,” Yungblut said. “The campaign kicked off Sept. 1 and we are selling tickets right up until the draw.”

Yungblut has been involved with Pelham Cares for six years after retiring from the Town of Pelham as an Administrative Assistant in Public Works.

She worked with former Town staffer Jane Gilmour, a Pelham Cares past president, and Gilmour encouraged her to become involved with the organization.

It was a perfect fit.

“I had a lot of contact with a lot of people and I liked that. I like people and I am a people-person,” Yungblut said. “I found that I needed something to do when retired and I like to give back and be involved in the community.”

She finds her role fulfilling.

“It is about being out in the community and helping people.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the need for Pelham Cares’ services and hindered its fundraising.

“But we are finding new ways to do things which is good,” Yungblut said. “Our food drive was done a totally different way last year and in some ways things have been made better.”