Landing the big green

Published 10:51 am Friday, August 2, 2013

Pacelli Catholic School, aided by the Hormel Foundation, made its alumni and community proud on July 24 when it met a four-year fundraising goal of $3 million.

The campaign began in 2009 when the Hormel Foundation offered to donate $750,000 to Pacelli if the school raised $2.25 million on its own. Last week, Pacelli finally reached its goal and Foundation donated the $750,000.

“The biggest goal was to make the match,” said Pacelli President Jim Hamburge. “It was a wonderful achievement.”

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With $3 million, Pacelli now has the opportunity to make major improvements to the school. According to Hamburge, Pacelli has already used the money to replace all of the school’s windows and doors, remodel the bathrooms, install brand-new flooring and make improvements to the gymnasium.

Officials plan to further use the money to install better technology in the classrooms, pay teachers better salaries and raise revenue for a scholarship fund.

However, Hamburge thinks this milestone has brought more to the school than just revenue.

“The morale is sky-high,” Hamburge said. “The pride is going up by the minute.”

Pacelli raised funds for the campaign solely on private donations rather than fundraisers. Its main source of revenue was from regular monthly donations by alumni and parents of alumni.

“Some people give you $500, some people give you $5,000 and some people give $50,000,” he said. “It takes all our gifts to raise the amount of money the school was able to raise.”

Hamburge said now is the ideal time for Pacelli to reach its fundraising goal as the 100 year anniversary celebration will be from Aug. 23 to 25. The school looks forward to showing alumni and friends its vast new improvements.

“We always dreamed we could get it done before the 100th celebration.” Hamburge said. “Its better to be able to say we did it than we’re really close.”

Hamburge said he looks forward to how the money will influence Pacelli’s future, and he hopes the heightened scholarship fund and the various building and classroom renovations will bring new students to Pacelli.

“I think we will become a much more attractive place for families to send there kids, and more affordable too,” he said.