Previous Year Record of $750,000 Shattered

Work Continues to Grow Catholic Elementary School Enrollments

By 1,000 Students By the Fall of 2019

(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – The Catholic Education Foundation of the Archdiocese of Louisville (the “Foundation”) today announced that its 27th annual Salute to Catholic School Alumni Dinner (the “Salute”) established a new high in funds raised in support of its mission.

Held on the evening of March 14 in the Grand Ballroom of downtown Louisville’s Galt House Hotel, the Salute hosted a sell-out crowd of nearly 1,800 guests, continuing its tradition as a hallmark community event in the Commonwealth.

This year’s event generated a new record high of $825,000 in net proceeds, rocketing past the previous year record of $750,000. All of the funds from the Salute will be used to provide tuition assistance to families who cannot afford the full cost of a Catholic elementary education for their children. The Archdiocese of Louisville sponsors 40 Catholic elementary schools in central Kentucky with aggregate student enrollments of 13,500.

This highly successful event was co-chaired by the Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville, and Mr. Michael K. Ash, Regional President of Fifth Third Bank Kentucky.

During the dinner, Archbishop Kurtz and Foundation President Richard A. Lechleiter both spoke of the thriving momentum of Catholic education in central Kentucky and the significant progress made in growing Catholic elementary school enrollments by 1,000 students by the fall of 2019. Last fall, enrollments in Catholic elementary schools rose by over 200 students from the previous year, the first increase in nearly 20 years. In addition, the Archdiocese added three elementary schools to its network during the past year, including a school in Shelby County.

The Salute also was highlighted by its recognition of six distinguished honorees whose success in life was nurtured by their Catholic education. The Salute Class of 2017 included: J. Richard Heaton (St. Joseph Elementary School, Bardstown); Jane C. Morreau (Holy Rosary Academy); Dr. Carole C. Pfeffer (Assumption High School); Teresa M. Riggs (Mercy Academy); W. Kevin Smith (Saint Xavier High School); and Reverend David H. Zettel (Trinity High School).

In addition, Dr. Daniel H. Jones, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of 21st Century Parks, Inc., received the Foundation’s distinguished Community Service Award.  Ms. Paula G. Do, a third grade instructor at St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School in Louisville, was recognized as the outstanding educator in the Archdiocese through the Father Joseph McGee Award.

Mr. Lechleiter remarked, “We are so deeply thankful to our entire central Kentucky community for their enormous generosity toward the mission of the Catholic Education Foundation. This record-setting support will enable us to help thousands of families provide the gift of a Catholic education to their children. The unique Catholic school experience that connects Faith, Family and Learning truly provides an education that lasts a lifetime. Indeed, The Answer is YES!”

Major benefactors of this year’s Salute, each of whom contributed $25,000 or more, include Fifth Third Bank of Kentucky (founding benefactor); Norton Healthcare; KentuckyOne Health; LG&E/KU Energy; Brandeis Machinery and Supply Company; Brown-Forman Corporation; Joe and Janet Clayton; the Steve and Kathy Ford Family; David and Jennie Heintzman; Dan and Lisa Jones; the John and Sarah Lechleiter Family; the Paul and Maureen Lechleiter Family; Neil and Anne Ramsey; the Daniel C. Ulmer Family; Tom and Rhonda Wimsett; and the Richard and Janice Lechleiter Family.

About the Catholic Education Foundation

For over 200 years, Catholic schools have contributed significantly to the social, spiritual and economic fabric of our entire community. The Catholic Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the growth and vitality of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Louisville. Since 1999, the Foundation has awarded $26 million in support of Catholic education.

The Foundation and its funding partners – the Archdiocese of Louisville, the 40 Catholic elementary schools, School Choice Scholarships, and Community Catholic Center – currently support more than 2,700 Catholic elementary school students in central Kentucky through tuition assistance grants aggregating $5.8 million. Visit the Foundation at www.ceflou.org.