The CATHOLIC CHARITIES CORP., incorporated on 8 Apr. 1919, is the official fundraising agency for charities affiliated with the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. Its Board of Trustees includes lay persons representing 90 parishes. In 1918 Fr. CHARLES HUBERT LEBLOND, who became first diocesan director of Catholic Charities, and Herman J. Trenkamp, a prominent Catholic businessman, agreed that a group of Catholic lay persons should organize to raise funds and relieve the diocese's growing annual deficit. The annual Catholic Charities Appeal is the corporation's major fundraising activity. The first appeal in 1919 raised $79,000. In 1957 the appeal reached $1 million, over $2 million in 1980, and over $10 million in 1994. Monies from the appeal fund social services for the aged, children and youth, and special programs, such as hunger centers.

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