Members of the St. Mary Immaculate Church have been hard at work raising funds for upgrades at the church. This next fundraiser will be done in the name of one of its most cherished members.

The group will host a dinner and auction fundraiser for the late Floyd Turner who was the Deacon at the church. The fundraiser will bring the church closer to its goal to build a new main entry and install safety and A.D.A. upgrades.

One of the organizers, Mike LaPlante, said the fundraising efforts for the new additions at the church started in December 2020. The goal for the project is to raise around $370,000 and in those two years the group has been able to raise a little more than $200,000.

“The need is great. We are talking about replacing deteriorated concrete from 1958,” LaPlante said. “It’s more about upgrades than installing anything frivolous.”

The dinner and auction will be at the Elks Lodge. Volunteers of the lodge will help to serve a spaghetti dinner and their will be an auction featuring items that were donated by congregation members and the community.

The late Turner’s wife, Nancy Turner, said her husband would have been humbled by the efforts by the community to help the church.

“He would be so blown away by it and so appreciative of it,” Nancy said. “The gathering place in the front is going to be so important and it will be a wonderful thing.”

LaPlante said the new entry way at the church will be named after Turner.

“He was our parish especially the last few years when we didn’t have a regular priest,” LaPlante said. “He was the backbone of our church.”

Turner even took on the leadership role and attended classes to become a deacon while working full time as a logging truck driver.

“Ever since he’s been here, he has been involved in St. Maries. Anything he was involved in he put in 100 percent,” organizer Ed Spooner said. “He was working and driving log truck, which is tremendous hours, and went and got a degree to became our deacon.”

The fundraiser dinner does not have a set price but those who attend are encouraged to make a donation to the church project. Proceeds from the auction will also support the remodel.

Happy hour will begin at 5 p.m. with dinner at 5:30 p.m., Friday, January 14 at the Elks Lodge. The auction will follow at 6:30.

For more information on how to support the church’s project call 208-245-2977.

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