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posted: 4/22/2013 9:14 AM

St. Isidore Catholic School fundraisers net $104,500

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By Mike Yerly
St. Isidore Catholic School

St. Isidore Catholic School has announced results of its major development initiatives that are now complete for the 2012-13 school year.

These programs annually raise funds to bridge the gap between what tuition covers and the actual cost of educating a student; fund priorities that the school's annual operating budget cannot accommodate; and subsidize scholarship and improvement funds vital to the ongoing success of the 80-plus-year-old school.

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St. Isidore Development Director Mike Yerly said the school benefits from three major parent- and volunteer-initiated fundraising programs each year. They are part of the school's new development and advancement office.

The office was created in the fall to coordinate existing -- and institute new -- fundraising, public relations, alumni relations and marketing initiatives at the school.

"An Evening of Pure Imagination" turned into an evening of "pure gold" for St. Isidore School in late February. The 10th annual dinner dance auction gala raised a record $75,000 in support of the school, including $19,000 earmarked specifically for technology improvements that include additional laptops, tablets and software upgrades for the technology lab.

The St. Isidore School Children's Clothing and Equipment Resale added $17,000 in net proceeds to the school's improvement fund. The biannual sales takes place in September and March of each school year. The March sale represented the 30th clothing resale held over the past 15 years.

Tipping off the major fundraisers for the year was the annual 3-on-3 Youth Basketball Tournament, held last August at the beginning of the school year. The tournament featured 50 teams made up of players in grades two through 10 and generated $12,500 in net proceeds.

"We at St. Isidore, as do all Catholic schools, face ongoing challenges to ensure that our current and future students achieve the academic growth we expect, as well as the Christian values we cherish," Principal Cyndi Collins said.

"This kind of fundraising is so important for our school and its programs, and can only be accomplished through the continued support of the amazing parents and generous supporters of St. Isidore, including the hundreds of parents, friends and alumni volunteers who work on the committees, as well as the dozens of businesses and benefactors that sponsor these events.

"In turn, the money we raise helps keep down the cost of tuition, which currently does not cover the actual cost of educating a student. These events also help defray the cost of additional, specific funding needs that arise year to year.

"These are funding needs that the annual operating budget would not be able to accommodate without higher tuition increases, which we work hard to keep in check."

St. Isidore School, 431 W. Army Trail Road, Bloomingdale, is part of the Joliet Diocese and has been in existence since 1920. It has 309 students in preschool through eighth grade come primarily from Bloomingdale, Bartlett, Carol Stream, Hanover Park and Glendale Heights.

Of the staff of 30 teachers, aides and administrators, more than 70 percent hold master's degrees or above. "Teaching the Heart of the Matter" is the school's mantra, and part of its mission to " plant, cultivate, grow and share with children, the Kingdom of God ."

For information on St. Isidore's charitable giving programs or to become a donor, sponsor or volunteer, contact Mike Yerly at (630) 529-9323 or mikeyerly@saintisidoreschool.org.

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