Q Why are you doing this? We used to be able to pay on the bus the day of the trip.
A This year we’re going back to a policy we had years ago – requiring a paid reservation before you take your seat. We did a survey of over 20 groups who send buses to the March from the surrounding area, and they all handle it this way.
The problem is we need to know ahead of time how many people are going. The buses have become so expensive, we can’t afford to send one half-full.
Since we have to pay for the buses in December, the Jan. 13 reservation cut-off date will allow us to cancel a bus (and recoup the money we laid out) if there are not enough riders. After a certain date, there are no refunds from the bus company.
Q So that means we can’t hold off deciding whether to come until it gets closer to Jan. 22, when we have a better idea of what the weather will be like?
A Unfortunately, no. We must receive your reservation and payment by Jan. 13. We all know the weather for the March for Life can be brutal or really quite nice. I wish we had a crystal ball. But lacking that, we have to ask you to make a commitment, and we’ll all pray for good weather.
Q Don’t donations cover the cost of the bus?
A Donations cover half the cost of the trip. The other half is paid for by the riders. If we don’t have the riders, we’re in trouble.
Q So, just to be clear, I can’t come if you don’t have my money by Jan. 13?
A We’re not saying that exactly. We’re asking you to reserve and pay for a seat by Jan. 13, so we’ll know whether enough people are coming to justify a third bus. We have every reason to believe there will be a third bus.
However, let’s say the Jan. 13 deadline passes and you have not yet reserved a seat. Then, IF there is a third bus and IF there are still seats available, we’ll be glad to take your reservation any time after that. Walk-ons are even welcome the morning of the trip, if there are still empty seats at that time.
Q So the earlier I get my reservation in, the better my chance of getting a place?
Q My family is having some financial trouble this year, but I’d really like to go. Is that possible?
A Sure, we have generous donors who will be glad to help out with your fare. It’s called our “Adopt a Marcher” program. But you still have to make a reservation before Jan. 13.
Q It was easier the other way. That’s not a question, but I had to say it.
A I know. We’re not trying to make it harder for you, but the economics of the situation are what they are. But please, we want everyone to come! This should be the best March for Life yet! The ones that take place during a presidential election year are always especially well attended and exciting. Please ask your prolife friends to come with you! Bust the kids out of school for the day. If we can fill more than three buses, that would be wonderful! And we’ll do everything we can to get that additional bus! That’s the kind of problem we want to have!
Q Do you know where the buses will leave from yet?
A Yes, Sacred Heart in Suffern and St. Augustine’s in New City. A third bus, for Albertus Magnus students, will leave from the hight school. The departure time will be roughly 6 a.m. on Jan. 22, and we should be back in Rockland around 11 p.m. Free parking will be available at the departure points.
Q So how do I reserve a seat?
A — On a sheet of paper, or using the printable form here, provide your name, address, phone number and email address. Let us know which bus you want to travel on — St. Augustine or Sacred Heart. Do the same for everyone traveling with you.
— Enclose a check for the proper amount: $30 for adults; $15 for children. If you want to be sponsored by our “Adopt a Marcher” program, please note that on your paper or form.
— Mail the paper or form and your check to the Rockland Right to Life Committee, PO Box 9348, Bardonia, NY 10954.
We must have it in our hands by Jan. 13, 2016.
More information will follow in our January newsletter and on our website, RocklandRTL.org. Please keep checking.
And if you know someone who always goes on the March for Life bus trip or who has mentioned they’re thinking about it this year, please mention this new policy to them so they’re aware of it.
And if you have any further questions about the March, please send them to RocklandRTL@optonline.net. We’ll get back to you.