By Dustin Luca
---- — ANDOVER — The Andover Youth Services telethon brought in over $150,000 in its two-day run, bringing the fundraising effort behind the Cormier Family Youth Center into its final lap.
Coming off of a high note with a single $50,000 donation Thursday night, the telethon tallied more than $66,000 on night two to add to the $84,000 it raised on night one, according to Andover Youth Foundation Chairwoman Diane Costagliola.
But even with the close of the Telethon, the foundation’s online donation access is still bringing money in, she said yesterday.
“Since the telethon closed, we’ve been getting more donations,” she said. “We’re probably at about 153, 154 [thousand dollars].”
Two articles concerning the youth center are slated to appear before Annual Town Meeting in May: one to move the building’s footprint north by around 30 feet, and the other to break the project into phases.
Should the phased approach be approved by voters, the foundation must raise $2.2 million before a $2 million town contribution to the project, voted at Special Town Meeting in 2011, is used.
With $2 million either raised or already given to the town prior to last week’s telethon, the newly raised money brings the foundation to its final $50,000 to start the project, Costagliola said.
“We’re pretty close now. We actually have a big fundraiser in April with Whole Foods [Supermarket on Railroad Street],” Costagliola said. “I really feel like, even without getting another single donation from a grant or from a person, we’ll be able to meet our goal with that.”
The success of the telethon “is a validation of how people feel about Youth Services and the program,” Costagliola said. “People feel like now is the time for the youth center to be built. They’re standing behind that commitment, and that’s why we’re doing so well.”
Part of the telethon’s success was in the number of large private donations the foundation received, according to Costagliola.
“I had people answering phones saying that they couldn’t believe how many $500, $1,000 donations people were making,” she said. “Kids were pooling their money together to make a donation.”
If Town Meeting passes the phased approach to the project in May, the project would be slated to break ground in August. A second phase to the project, adding a multipurpose room and some secondary offices and restrooms, would be built later on and financed by the foundation.