Woodlands Academy Hosts Congé Event To Raise Funds for Financial Aid

Anne O'Connell
Updated 3/22/2013 2:01 PM
  • Conge is derived from French, meaning "play date" that will take place April 27 this year.

    Conge is derived from French, meaning "play date" that will take place April 27 this year. Woodlands Academy

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart invites the community to participate in its 40th annual major fundraising event, Congé, from which all proceeds will go toward financial aid. Congé is derived from the French word for "play date".

More than one-third of families receive financial aid at the independent nonprofit college preparatory day and boarding school located in Lake Forest.

"It is an honor, as a current Woodlands parent of two daughters, to help support the mission set forth in 1858 by Madeleine Sophie Barat; whose desire was to inspire young hearts and minds to excel, to lead lives of integrity and to serve the community. Congé is an opportunity to extend our efforts to the local community and beyond by an appeal for the Woodlands Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs," said Congé Co-Chair Heather Kotlarz.

"Ever since its founding, Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart has been committed to offering financial aid to qualified applicants who show evidence of need,", a Woodlands mom. "These grants are used to offset tuition costs and do not require repayment. The money for these grants comes directly from our fundraiser and the school's budget and demonstrates the commitment to having a socio-economically diverse population."

Congé Co-Chair Lori Rozdolsky explained, "Each young woman at Woodlands is appreciated for her unique blend of talents, be they academic, athletic or artistic. Congé supports the aspirations of our current students and provides financial assistance for those who follow."

Congé begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Glen View Club, 100 Golf Road, Golf, IL, with cocktails and a silent auction. Dinner and the program, including a live auction, begin at 7:30 p.m.

Congé Co-Chair Tom Flint said this year's event will have a special twist. "Congé will honor someone who has made an incredible difference to the Woodlands Academy community. Barbara Wood-Prince, a Board of Trustee member since 2007, will be recognized for her tremendous philanthropic initiatives to Woodlands. Congé is one way we come together as a community to celebrate the special place that Woodlands is and to help financially ensure that the educational mission of Woodlands Academy continues into the future. Woodlands is a place where each girl is encouraged to be a leader. So it's fitting that we recognize one of our leaders while we raise funds to be solely used to help educate future leaders."

Wood-Prince has been nominated by Woodlands Academy for the 2013 Archdiocesan Development Council IMPACT award which honors a volunteer or staff member whose commitment, energy and vision has promoted Catholic education in the school community of which he or she is a part. The Lake Forest resident co-chaired a multi-million campaign to build a new Science Center to better equip students to pursue study in STEM fields where women are generally under-represented. She attended elementary school at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, in the basement of what later became Barat College in Lake Forest, the predecessor of Woodlands Academy.

People interested in contributing to the fundraiser can do so in other ways besides attending. Partnership opportunities are available. Major sponsors thus far include Lake Forest Bank & Trust and Pepper Construction. Another way to help out is to participate in the on-line bidding for silent auction items or by making a donation online at www.bidpal.net/Congé. Tickets for the event are $200 each and can be purchased on the website as well.

For more information contact Woodlands Academy Events Coordinator Tami Rocha at 847 234-4300 Ext. 226 or visit www.woodlandsacademy.org

Founded in 1858, Woodlands Academy is an independent, Catholic college preparatory day and boarding school for young women, and part of a worldwide network of Sacred Heart Schools that spans 21 cities in the United States and 44 countries around the world. Woodland Academy's identity is rooted in Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat's desire to inspire young hearts and minds to excel, to lead lives of integrity and to serve. The nonprofit school is located at 760 E. Westleigh Road, Lake Forest. For more information call 847 234-4300 or visit