The families and alumni of St. Boniface School in Oak Harbor were handed a nearly impossible task two months ago: raise $100,000 in order to keep their school open. On Tuesday, they got the news they were hoping for ... they did it!
“It is a bright and sunny morning in Oak Harbor,” said Advisory Committee Member Dr. Molly Judge on Wednesday. “It was truly a grass roots campaign. Yes, we had a few larger donations, and the fundraiser at the Happy Hour last Friday that raised $3,200 was one of them.”
According to St. Boniface Principal, Millie Greggila, donations came in from all over, including one from Garfield Heights, Ohio from a family who read about the plight of St. Boniface in The Beacon.
On Feb. 7, the families and teachers at St. Boniface got the bad news that the school would have to close down unless they raised $100,000 in seven weeks.
“The families could have given up right there,” said Judge. “But we decided to give it a shot. Each family was given the task of raising $3,500 each. We had bake sales by the students, bingo, and just a lot of people pounding the streets asking for help.”
“I am on Cloud Nine,” said Greggila. “We cannot thank the people who stepped up enough for their courageous efforts.”
Both Judge and Greggila noted that the dynamics of what is happening in the Benton-Carroll-Salem school district turned out to be a positive factor, which three elementary schools in the district closing…Rocky Ridge, Graytown and Carroll schools. “We now have a year to put in place the funds to sustain the school,” said Greggila, adding “we have been graced with something wonderful.”
Dr. Judge noted another positive result of the amazing seven week campaign. “I believe that we now have a stronger team at St. Boniface. The students, parents and teachers bonded in this cause.”
It came down to a decision of the Parish Finance Committee, but what other decision could they have made given the results of the seven-week campaign that included fish fries, and numerous other fund raisers. Somehow, some way, they made it. St. Boniface Catholic School will remain open, at least for the foreseeable future.