Press Release


March 3, 2020

Contact: Richard A. Lechleiter






Foundation Seeks All-Time High Net $1.2 Million from the Event to Benefit Catholic

School Families and Parishes in the Archdiocese of Louisville


Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York to Deliver Keynote Address


(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – The Catholic Education Foundation of the Archdiocese of Louisville (the “Foundation”) today announced that it will host the 30th annual Salute to Catholic School Alumni Dinner (the “Salute”) at Louisville’s historic Galt House Hotel on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.


The Foundation will honor eight individuals at the event 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 is 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 2019, the Foundation and its funding partners awarded a record $6.5 million in tuition assistance to an all-time high 3,250 students across 40 Catholic elementary schools.


The Foundation is blessed to have as this year’s Salute keynote speaker His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York.


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. Paul C. Varga, Retired Chief Executive Officer of Brown-Forman Corporation, also serves as Honorary Co-Chair of this year’s event.


The 2020 class of Salute honorees (with school affiliation) includes:

Elizabeth Cobb Arnett (Presentation Academy) – Noted author and playwright;

Reverend Joseph T. Graffis (St. Thomas Seminary) – Retired archdiocesan priest;

James J. Kirchdorfer, Jr. (Saint Xavier High School) – Chairman and CEO, ISCO Industries, Inc.

F. Loueva Moss (St. Monica School) – Retired nurse and distinguished community leader;

L. Russell Read (Trinity High School) – Chief Executive Officer, Beacon House; and

Laura M. Schwab (Sacred Heart Academy) – President, Aston Martin The Americas.


The Foundation will also honor Mr. Randall J. Bufford, Founder and Chairman of Trilogy Health Services, LLC, with its distinguished Community Service Award. The award is being sponsored by Fifth Third Bank for the 19thyear.


Dr. Lisa C. Wieland, a teacher at Louisville’s Assumption High School, will receive the 2020 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 eleventh consecutive year.


Foundation President Richard A. Lechleiter remarked, “We could not be more excited to celebrate our eight distinguished honorees at this very special 30th anniversary event on March 18! 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 net a historic $1.2 million from this year’s Salute, rocketing past last year’s landmark record $1.1 million. We are indeed grateful to 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. What a feat it is to aim for a $1.2 million result from this event to 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; D3 Foundation; The Galt House Hotel; ISCO Industries, Inc.; LG&E and KU Foundation; SCJ Consulting Services, LLC; The Bufford Family Foundation; Joseph and Sherry Dougherty; David and Cathy Durik;  the Steve and Kathy Ford Family;  David and Jennie Heintzman; The Mackin Family Foundation; the John and Sarah Lechleiter Family; the Paul and Maureen Lechleiter Family; Bill and Michelle Mudd; Neil and Anne Ramsey; Brad and Charlotte Stengel; the Daniel C. Ulmer Family; Tom and Rhonda Wimsett; the Paul Varga Family; 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. Tables and individual seats may be purchased by contacting the Foundation by phone or online at


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 over $37 million in support of Catholic education.  Visit the Foundation at