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ME Gov Baldacci Spaghetti Fundraiser for Preble Street A Huge Success

UPDATE: as of 1:30 pm, Preble Street releasing via Facebook that they raised over $15,000 last night! WOW!


Recently it was announced that Preble Street’s  Homeless Voices For Justice program was informed by Bishop Malone that they were losing its funding from the RCC/ Portland Diocese, because of their support of marriage equality.

Well, that did NOT sit well with our Catholic Governor John Baldacci- who with others quickly organized a spaghetti dinner fundraiser.

Governor Baldacci’s Spaghetti Supper for Justice and Equality

Hosted by Governor Baldacci and MANY volunteers

Apr 14th, 2010

5:00-8:00 P.M.

Portland, Italian Heritage Center

Please join us for a Spaghetti Supper to benefit Preble Street hosted by Governor Baldacci & MANY Volunteers

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Supper served continuously from

5:00 – 8:00 P.M.

at the

Italian Heritage Center

40 Westland Avenue, Portland

(behind Westgate Shopping Center)

Donation: $5.00 per person – or whatever you can afford

All donations gratefully accepted

RSVP via email to

or by calling (207) 775-0026 ext. 230

If you are unable to attend, you may donate online at or by mailing a check to:

Preble Street, PO Box 1459, Portland, ME 04104

In fact, despite the almost 1000 person turnout, “Gov B” served each and every one of the folks who came for a plate of his delicious Baldacci Family recipe spaghetti! Among the folks bussing tables were AG Janet Mills and Maine Catholics for Marriage Equality head Anne Underwood, as well as plenty of Maine political figures such as gubernatorial candidates Libby Mitchell and Pat McGowan in attendance, showing their support for this very worthy cause.

From WCSH-6:

Governor John Baldacci sponsored a spaghetti dinner Wednesday night to benefit [Preble Street’s “Homeless Voices for Justice”] program.

The Governor hosted the fundraiser to help make up for money lost after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland pulled its support of the agency.

The Diocese says it was over Preble Street’ssupport of last November’s referendum to legalize gay marriage. So, the organization is losing $17,000 this year, and $33,000 next year, as a result.

More below the fold.More from Kennebec Journal:

Baldacci steps in where church declined

PORTLAND — The line outside the Italian Heritage Center just kept getting longer, as people waited for plates of spaghetti covered in sauce made with Gov. John Baldacci’s family recipe.

At one point, organizers of the supper to benefit Preble Street estimated that more than 400 people were standing in the parking lot outside the center.

By night’s end, Baldacci and an army of volunteers had served spaghetti dinners to more than 900 people.

Amy Bruning, the social service agency’s finance director, said it would take at least another day to calculate how much was raised by Wednesday’s event because the donations varied so widely — from the suggested $5 to personal checks for $100 to $500.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland and the Washington-based Catholic Campaign for Human Development say that Preble Street violated its grant agreement by supporting Maine’s No on 1 campaign last fall.

Homeless Voices for Justice lost $17,400 for this year and will lose $33,000 that it expected for its next fiscal year. All of Wednesday’s donations will go to the statewide advocacy group, which works on issues that affect the homeless.

“It has been very humbling,” said Mark Swann, Preble Street’s director, during the fundraiser. Donations from around the world have been pouring into Preble Street, he said.

Frank Bellino of Standish and his wife, Joanne, said they are rethinking their commitment to the Catholic Church.

“I don’t think what they did was the Christian thing to do,” Bellino said.

“What happened with Preble Street, for me, was the last straw,” his wife said.

It’s hard to express how overwhelming it was- to see the hundreds and hundreds of happy people, waiting patiently in line, out of the Italian Heritage Center, out into the parking lot and out of sight! It was a breezy and cool afternoon, but everyone was cheerful- and the food was absolutely terrific.

WELL DONE, GOV B, and thank you to all who participated!

Please join me in supporting Preble Street

From EqualityMaine:


If you want to help make up for the funds that the Catholic Diocese cut from Preble Street’s Homeless Voices for Justice program, CLICK HERE.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to specify “Homeless Voices” in the box marked “Other.”

*Related: Portland RCC Diocese Ends Homeless Aid Group’s Funding, Because of No On 1 Support

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