Press Release
March 14, 2019

Contact: Richard A. Lechleiter


Foundation Seeks All-Time High Net $1.1 Million from the Event to Benefit Catholic School Families and Parishes in the Archdiocese of Louisville

Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding, Bishop of Nashville, to Deliver Keynote Address 

(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – The Catholic Education Foundation of the Archdiocese of Louisville (the “Foundation”) today announced that it will host the 29th annual Salute to Catholic School Alumni Dinner (the “Salute”) at Louisville’s Galt House Hotel on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

The Foundation will honor eight individuals whose accomplishments in career, community and life highlight the storied tradition of excellence in Catholic schools in central Kentucky that began over 200 years ago.

Established in 1990, the Salute has become a hallmark community event in the Commonwealth, raising funds for families, parishes and schools to provide tuition assistance for families as well as grants for religious education, professional development of teachers and advancements in technology.  In the fall of 2018, the Foundation and its funding partners awarded an amazing $6.4 million in tuition assistance to an all-time high 3,100 students (1 in every 5 students) in Catholic elementary schools.

The Foundation is blessed to have as this year’s keynote speaker the Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding, J. C. L., Twelfth Bishop of Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to his current role, Bishop Spalding was a priest in the Archdiocese of Louisville and served as Vicar General for the Church in central Kentucky.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, D. D. of Louisville is the Vice Chairman of the Foundation Board of Directors and serves annually as Honorary Co-Chair of the Salute. Mr. William E. Mudd, President and Chief Operating Officer of Churchill Downs Incorporated, also serves as Honorary Co-Chair of this year’s event.

The 2019 class of Salute honorees (with school affiliation) includes:

Monica Beam Bohn (Mercy Academy) – President and Chief Executive Officer, Century Mortgage and Co-Owner, Century Entertainment and Furnishings;

Jeffrey S. Brohm (Trinity High School) – Head Football Coach, Purdue University;

Reverend Thomas E. Gentile (Saint Xavier High School) – Retired archdiocesan priest and Chaplain, St. Francis DeSales High School;

R. Kenyon Meyer (Saint Xavier High School) – Managing Partner, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP;

Victoria Imorde Weber (Assumption High School) – Retired Senior Vice President, Kosair Charities; and

Thomas A. Wimsett (St. Catherine Academy, New Haven, Kentucky) – Founder and Chairman, Wimsett & Company

The Foundation will also honor Mr. William J. Rothwell, Past Vice President for Development and Alumni at the University of Louisville, with its distinguished Community Service Award. The award is being sponsored by Fifth Third Bank for the 18th year.

Ms. Anne C. Bahr, a teacher at Louisville’s St. Martha School, will receive the 2019 Father Joseph McGee Award as the outstanding Catholic school educator in the Archdiocese of Louisville. The award is being sponsored by Norton Healthcare for the tenth consecutive year.

Foundation President Richard A. Lechleiter remarked, “We could not be more excited to celebrate our eight distinguished honorees at this very special event on March 27! One of the largest of its kind in the Commonwealth, this event has long provided significant funding to strengthen our families and Catholic education across central Kentucky. Our team is working very hard to achieve an all-time high $1.1 million from this year’s Salute, rocketing past last year’s landmark record $1 million. We are so thankful for our many supporters who value Catholic education and the countless benefits that it has provided to students, families and the broader community for generations.”

Archbishop Kurtz noted, “I am continually grateful for this community’s staunch support of both the Salute dinner event and the work of the Foundation. How inspiring it is to aim for a $1.1 million result from this event that will support families across central Kentucky who want their children to attend a Catholic school but can’t afford its full cost. We are indeed blessed to work for their benefit and the futures of their children!”

Major benefactors of this year’s Salute, each of whom has contributed $25,000 or more, include Fifth Third Bank of Kentucky (founding benefactor); Norton Healthcare; AirHydro Power; Brandeis Machinery & Supply Company; Brown – Forman Corporation; Caldwell Tanks; The Galt House Hotel; LG&E and KU Foundation; the Doug and Cher Abell Family; The Bufford Family Foundation; Joe and Sherry Dougherty; David and Cathy Durik;  the Steve and Kathy Ford Family;  David and Jennie Heintzman; Dan and Lisa Jones; the Kramer Family; the John and Sarah Lechleiter Family; the Paul and Maureen Lechleiter Family; Neil and Anne Ramsey; Len and Susan Spalding; Brad and Charlotte Stengel; the Daniel C. Ulmer Family; Tom and Rhonda Wimsett; and the Richard and Janice Lechleiter Family.

The Salute doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner and program will begin at 6:30 p.m. Sponsorships, tables and individual seats may be purchased by contacting the Foundation by phone or online at