It all started with Butch and Sally Schulze.
When Sally passed away in 2000 after 44 years of marriage, Butch created a St. Patrick’s Day party in her memory. He paid for the hall, corned beef and beer. He asked guests to donate to his and Sally’s favorite charity, St. Patrick Center.
“That’s the way Dad and Mom were,” daughter Anne Gerding recalls. “They never had a lot but their door was always open to people in need.” Anne says they helped a lot of strangers over the years.
Butch passed away in 2008. His large family—6 children,
15 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren plus 3 more on the way—decided to continue the St. Patrick’s Day party tradition to support St. Patrick Center. “At first, we didn’t get many RSVPs,” daughter Beth Applebaum recalls. “But then people started coming and coming, until we were surrounded by more than 100 family and friends.”
We can count about ten more annual family gatherings in memory of Butch and Sally, followed by donations to St. Patrick Center.
This year, the family decided it was time for a change.
They created a Schulze’s Give Back Facebook group to communicate their new activities. Each month, the group of family and friends collects in-kind donations for St. Patrick Center and delivers them on the last Friday. Items include butter, eggs and milk, as well as paper towels, tissues and toilet paper. “St. Patrick Center was the charity my parents felt very strongly about and we wanted to carry on their tradition of helping others all year long.”
The family also volunteers as a group. They serve lunch
in our Shamrock Club and help at our Christmas Wishes
family sponsorship program. Anne attributes their staying power to her parents. “All of us greatly miss Mom and Dad. Our love of them keeps us going and we know they’re always with us.”
St. Patrick Center salutes the dedication and generosity of this family, begun by Butch and Sally so many years ago, and continues to support our agency and mission today.
Thanks to Katie Joseph in Development for contributing to this story.