Teen donates car, honored by Congressman Katko

Erin Byrnes, 13, an eighth grade student at West Genesee Middle School and a parishioner at Holy Family Church, recently won a 2015 Tahoe LTZ, worth $70,000 at a fundraiser for Joseph’s House, a non-profit home for women facing an unplanned pregnancy. Erin and her mother volunteered their time at the daycare center at Joseph’s House and the teen understood the charity was in need of transportation for its residents and their babies.

Throughout the year Erin raised $1000 for Joseph’s House by collecting over 20,000 bottles and cans. She gave $200 to her parents with instructions to purchase 60 raffle tickets in their name, but on her behalf, since she wasn’t old enough to win the prize herself, and put the tickets in the drawing for the Tahoe at the charity’s fundraiser at Drumlin’s Country Club.

Out of 26,000 tickets, one of the Erin’s tickets was chosen and the staff at Joseph’s House was stunned when Erin informed them she was donating the car back to the charity. Her parents had agreed that if Erin won, she could decide what to do with the prize.

“We have been so blessed by the Byrnes family,” stated Kitty Spinelli, executive director for Joseph’s House. They have supported [the charity] before we purchased the home and have been cleaning and shampooing all of our carpets and donated furniture through their business, Byrnes Chem-Dry, since we opened Joseph House. They have six children and could have used the Tahoe or cash prize to help with transportation or college tuitions. Erin certainly has learned how to be a selfless young person through the shining example of her parents. We have been abundantly blessed by the generosity of the entire Byrnes family and are forever grateful.”

Congressman John Katko recently presented Erin with a certificate for her hard work, selflessness and compassion for others and generosity to a charitable organization. Erin is pictured above with her parents and Congressman Katko.

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