Over $500,000 tala raised for new Lepea Church
Fundraising efforts to channel funding to complete work on the new St. Theresa's Jesus The Child Lepea Catholic Church netted over half a million Tala on Saturday.
The proceeds will go towards the construction of the massive church building that began almost seven years ago.
The committee hosted a Radiothon and TVthon that kicked off on the airwaves of Radio 2AP and FM 89.1 on Saturday morning. Before 10am the committee had already had pledges of close to $200,000.
And by 5pm the amount raised was $525,430.05 according to an update posted on the Lepea Catholic Church Facebook page.
The church committee member Tua’i Theresa Cherry-Ulberg confirmed the amount received at 5pm on Saturday and said fundraising efforts were continuing into the evening between 6-9pm on television.
The radiothon wrapped up at 5pm but the fundraiser carried on with a three-hour TVThon that was broadcast on TV1 Samoa.
The building is a few months away from completion after nearly seven years of fundraising and building. The construction project started in December 2014 with the church now counting down the final six months until the building's official opening.
Builders have already installed the steeples and some impressive stained glass work. The church building will feature four church bells ordered from London, England and stained glass windows and tiles from New Zealand. The building has 46 windows and 46 doors.
The construction foreman on the project is Father Ricky Bernard.
Chairman of the St. Theresa’s Jesus The Child Lepea Catholic Church Construction Project, Salausa Dr. John Ah Ching said the target is to officially open the magnificent building just before Christmas, on the 15 December.
The Lepea Catholic Church serves about 70 families from Lepea, Vaitoloa, Lotopa Pesega, Se’ese’e, Tuanaimato and Alafua.
Early estimates of the project’s cost was $10.5 million.
Committee member Fuiono Felise Vito said last year that the church did not take out a loan to fund the project.
All costs were covered by the donations of church members and the community, he said.
On social media, television and radio, organisers of the Saturday fundraiser thanked supporters profusely.