EAST CHICAGO — In a new fundraising effort, the Carmelite Home will raffle off a new 2017 Honda Civic Sports Coupe at this year’s Pierogi Fest.

Donated by Napleton River Oaks Honda in Lansing, Illinois, the car created a buzz when the raffle was announced recently at St. Joseph’s Carmelite Home, 4840 Grasselli St.

“That’s a really nice car,” said East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland as he looked at the vehicle parked in front of the home owned and operated by the Divine Heart of Jesus Order of Carmelite Sisters.

“The Sisters have watched over the most vulnerable. We want to raise $100,000 with this raffle,” said Copeland, who serves on the St. Joseph’s Carmelite Home board of directors.

Other members of the board of directors attending the press conference included Peggy Holinga Katona, Lake County treasurer, and Paul Mullaney, president of Bishop Noll Institute.

Raffle ticket cost $5 each and can be purchased beginning Tuesday at Strack & VanTil Supermarket service centers in Whiting, East Chicago, Hammond, Highland, Munster and Schererville, said Paul Meyers, store manager of the Whiting Strack & VanTil.

Other locations to purchase raffle tickets include the Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce, 1417 119th St. in Whiting. The tickets will also be available at Pierogi Fest, the quirky three-day festival that fills downtown Whiting beginning July 28.

The winning ticket will be drawn at 3 p.m. July 30, and the winner doesn’t need to be present, said Tom Dabertin, chairman of the St. Joseph’s Carmelite Home board of directors and chairman of Pierogi Fest.

“For over a century, St. Joseph’s Carmelite Home has been a safety net and safe haven for children at risk, providing them with a loving, caring home,” Dabertin said.

Currently 90 children are cared for at the Carmelite Home, and the Carmelite Sisters depend on donations and support to continue the home’s operation, he said.

Pointing to a cardboard box full of 10,000 raffle tickets, Dabertin said the board hopes to sell twice that amount.

Sr. Maria Giuseppe, Carmelite Home administrator, thanked all those organizations participating in the raffle, adding, “God bless all of us.”

Suzanne DeYoung, controller of Napleton River Oaks Honda told those gathered that the dealership provides monthly donations to the Carmelite Home.

“Napleton makes donations for every vehicle, new and used, we sell to the Carmelite Home,” DeYoung said. “We strive to be part of the community. This is deeply important to us.”

In another annual fundraising effort for the home, the nuns who operate and staff the Carmelite Home will take turns in a dunk tank at Pierogi Fest.

“This one of a number of activities that helped Pierogi Fest earn the title of one of the wackiest festivals on the planet bestowed by TripAdvisor,” Dabertin said.

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