CHICAGO | Operation Save St. Florian has raised more than $100,000 in two weeks, enough to give supporters and school officials the opportunity to continue their efforts.
During a meeting Friday, the Archdiocese gave the last Catholic school in Chicago’s Hegewisch neighborhood more time to work on a self sustainable financial plan, said its principal Krista Wilkinson.
“Our priorities right now are to have our current families register their students, to build enrollment with new families coming to our school and to continue to keep pledges, donations and hopefully donors and sponsors for our school to keep it open and a viable part of the community,” Wilkinson said.
She said the school can continue work on its financial plan and hasn’t been told to stop moving forward. An open house, pancake breakfast and other activities are planned for the next month to bring attention to the school and show what it has to offer.
“The parents have worked tirelessly,” Wilkinson said, noting that in addition to their fundraising efforts, parents volunteered this week to redo the school’s computer lab.
“They sacrificed the last couple days to spend all their time at our school and it’s a great example for the kids to see how much the community can come together.
“Everyone wants to keep this going for the kids who love their school and the community.”
Through tag days, fundraisers and individual and business pledges, parents and supporters have fought to keep the Catholic school in Chicago’s Hegewisch neighborhood open after it was announced that it would be among six schools closing for the 2014-15 school year.
The school had raised $102,000 at last count and it seems like every hour, they have to keep updating that number, Wilkinson said. Alumni from as far away as Alaska have responded to the call for help.
“We want to keep the momentum going because we still have time and we still have work to do. We just to keep moving.”
At this time, the next meeting date with the Archdiocese has not been set, but they have approximately a month to keep working, Wilkinson said.
An annual pancake breakfast fundraiser hosted by the Parents Club will be served from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday in the St. Florian School gymnasium, 13110 S. Baltimore Ave.
The open house will coincide with the breakfast and take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Attendees can take tours and meet the teachers and staff.
Dine on unlimited pancakes, Belgium waffles, eggs, chorizo and sausage. There will also be a 50/50 raffle, book fair, a gift basket giveaway, the Scholastic Book Fair, and selling of Guardian Angel glasses.
Operation Save St. Florian is a partnership between parents, parishioners and community members to save the school. The school is a registered 501 (C) (3) charity. Online donations can be made to a GoFundMe Account at http://www.gofundme.com/6aq2vg. All donations will be returned if efforts prove unsuccessful. Updates of progress and efforts are available at www.facebook.com/ savesaintflorian.