It’s Back to the Future for Father Bill’s Ford Focus

On December 22, AJ Cross emailed a Thank You note to all the people who donated time and money to the cause he initiated recently. “It was an amazing display of community unity and generosity,” he said. Many long-time community members came out to support getting “Father Bill” Collins, the founder of Poverello Food Bank, a new set of wheels.

His entire charity was, at one point, based on driving around to deliver meals to those whom suffered from HIV/AIDS. Now he’s left without much he could do since an accident totaled his car and the remainder of the payout on that reportedly went toward medical expenses. He has been taking taxicabs to and from the food bank and his home in Lauderdale by the Sea but he cannot afford those expensive trips every day.

At a time when the cost of America’s average car is around $28,000, AJ Cross and Michael Albetta helped to select a 2010 Ford Focus for the low price of $18,500. But according to Cross, their expected ability to raise this money quickly was not founded.

Nearing the end of his thank you letter, Cross lets the other shoe drop and reveals that although there were performers, and comedians and valet parking, a silent auction and even city council members attesting to Father Bill’s good character, the donations did not quite come to half of what they expected to raise. The total was $7,200.00 (And about half of that came from the largest donors).

Nearly every business establishment in Wilton Manors was mentioned in Cross’ recent letter to supporters who attended the event. According to Cross, he would like to continue with fundraisers for the car but he admits the possibility that Collins might not be driving that particular Ford Focus after all.

“Once again, Thank ALL Of You,” Cross concluded. ”And this is NOT over yet. There is NO WAY we will stop until Father Bill no longer has to spend money on Cabs.”