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Hormel Foundation gives $750K to Pacelli

Pacelli Catholic Schools administrators accept a check for $750,000 from the Hormel Foundation. From left: Gary Ray, Hormel Foundation chair; Jerry Anfinson, Hormel Foundation treasurer; Mary Holtorf, Pacelli vice principal; Jim Hamburge, Pacelli president; Norm Blaser, Pacelli development director; and John Gray, with the Hormel Foundation.

Pacelli Catholic Schools administrators accept a check for $750,000 from the Hormel Foundation. From left: Gary Ray, Hormel Foundation chair; Jerry Anfinson, Hormel Foundation treasurer; Randy Kramer, Pacelli campaign chair; Mary Holtorf, Pacelli vice principal; Jim Hamburge, Pacelli president; Norm Blaser, Pacelli development director; and John Gray, with the Hormel Foundation.

A Pacelli Catholic Schools effort more than three years in the making came to fruition Monday.

The school’s Securing Our Futures campaign has raised more than enough money in personal pledges to pull in the full $750,000 1-for-3 grant offered by The Hormel Foundation. Leaders in both groups gathered for a check presentation Monday morning at Pacelli High School.

“We’ve now reached the $3 million mark in our campaign,” said Randy Kramer, head of Pacelli’s 100-year committee. “We can’t thank them enough.”

Gary Ray, chair of The Hormel Foundation, was excited the Foundation could contribute to Pacelli.

“It really meets one of the three pillars of the foundation, which is education,” he said.

In light of the school’s upcoming 100-year anniversary, Pacelli’s Interim President Jim Hamburge said the funds would help Pacelli make a strong entry into its second century.

“For the next hundred years, we’re going to do you proud,” he told Hormel Foundation directors.

The money raised, Hamburge said, will help support Pacelli’s building maintenance and will provided better technology for students.

“It’s going to help us improve the facilities,” Hamburge said. “We really have to prepare the kids for the digital world.”

A portion of the funds will also be used for scholarships, so Catholic education in Austin does not cater specifically to the wealthy, he said.

“That money is just huge to help this school continue its legacy,” Hamburge said.

The Securing Our Future campaign began in May 2010 with the goal of raising $3.5 million for Pacelli Catholic Schools over the following three years. The Hormel Foundation pledged to match Pacelli’s fundraising 1-for-3, up to a $750,000 limit.

“We met as a board and decided there was nothing better than an incentive,” Ray said. “They’ve been very successful.”

Ray said the Hormel Foundation was originally founded as a means of supporting three pillars: science, community involvement and education.

“Today, we’re fulfilling one of those pillars,” he said.