- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Who’s the hottest fundraiser in Philadelphia? Pope Francis, of course.

Organizers of the World Meeting of Families said Friday excitement for the pontiff’s visit to the September 22-27 conference has already pushed it two-thirds of the way to its $45 million fundraising goal.

Archbishop Charles Chaput credits the wonderful generosity of donors interested in supporting the conference’s message that families are the key to strengthening communities.

Organizers say the funds will cover extensive operational costs, including security, transportation and infrastructure enhancements.

They say they’ll calculate costs related to Francis’ visit once they receive a formal itinerary from the Vatican.

Francis is expected to take part in the Festival of Families closing event and lead a public Mass before than 1.5 million people on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

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