Lay leaders and staff at United Jewish Communities of Princeton Mercer Bucks are working hard to increase participation in this year’s Super Sunday — the federation’s annual fund-raising phonathon that serves as a major source of revenue for its social services.
The daylong event will take place on Dec. 6 at the Bank of America campus in Hopewell.
“We’re very excited about our upcoming Super Sunday campaign,” said cochair Stephanie Will of Skillman. “We want participation to be the highest it has ever been in the community.”
“It’s the one day of the year when everyone can get together for one common cause,” said cochair Emily Josephson of West Windsor, who used to help her own father out at Super Sundays when she was growing up in Pittsburgh. Now, she said, her children are Super Sunday volunteers.
“You really get a sense of community when you go there,” agreed federation president Lisa Smukler of Princeton.
Super Sunday raised more than $200,000 last year, a figure the federation is hoping to improve on. “We’ve been very successful so far to date” with pledges received, said federation associate executive director Linda Cohen. “People are forthcoming with their pledges and with increases.”
“It’s a challenge this year, obviously, with this economic climate,” said Josephson. “I think that Jews have always been good at meeting challenges. We hope that holds true for this year.”
Despite the recession, officials said they hope their push to reach out to new people and educate them about federation will lead to success.
“As Women’s Campaign president I have been very encouraged by how many of our donors have already made their pledge for the 2010 campaign,” said Stacey Wasserman of West Windsor.
Josephson, who is also the federation’s vice president of community relations and allocations, said it’s essential for the campaign goals to be met; if not, she said, the federation would have to cut “much-needed services to the needy, both locally and globally.”
Other Super Sunday activities abound for those who would rather not “dial for dollars,” she said. They include gift-wrapping holiday presidents for area children through the Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County LIGHTS (Love is Getting Hanukkah Toys to Share) program. Volunteers can also assist with such tasks as bookkeeping and envelope stuffing. The JCC will also run programs to keep children busy while their parents are volunteering, and teens will participate in their own phonathon.
The third Super Sunday cochair is Mark Merkovitz of Princeton, who also serves as the federation’s campaign vice president.