In Your Midst

SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM MAKES A DIFFERENCE

Spring 2001

In This Issue:
“I can’t believe people would do this for me,” said Giordan Montero, a third grader at St. George’s School. “They don’t even know me.” Giordan was just one of 14 St. James Cathedral’s youth in kindergarten through eighth grade who received a partial scholarship to attend an area Catholic elementary school.

The recipients and their parents were the guests of honor along with scholarship donors at the Cathedral’s First Annual Scholarship Brunch last month. It was the first time the students met with parishioners whose gifts to the scholarship program had made a difference in their young lives. In total, $14,000 was distributed this year from the parish Scholarship Endowment Fund and through individually named scholarships established by donors.

Father Michael G. Ryan announced the formation of a new scholarship, the Diane Simperman Memorial Scholarship, in honor of the late Diane Simperman’s generosity, which launched the scholarship program and her husband Roy’s continuing commitment to Catholic education.

Margaret Anderson received a framed print of the old Cathedral School in recognition of her status as being the eldest living alumna of the school. Blake Rassilyer, a second grader, found it hard to believe that Mrs. Anderson was in first grade when the original dome on the Cathedral collapsed on February 2, 1916. “Wow, she must be old, like 50,” commented Blake as he struggled to do the math in his head. The Cathedral Grade School operated from 1912 to 1972.

The Cathedral Scholarship Program started in 1997 and promotes the values and high academic standards of Catholic education by assisting parish families in meeting the rising costs of tuition. Donors to the program are given the choice of making a gift of any size to the general scholarship endowment fund, establishing a privately endowed scholarship, or making a minimum gift of $1,000 towards an annual scholarship which can be named for their family or loved one.

“It’s wonderful to meet such fine children,” commented scholarship donor, Mary Ann Schmidt. “The right education is everything today.”

Eleanor Rimas, a sixth grader at St. Edward’s School, demonstrated the power of education in a thank you note to her scholarship benefactor. “I was so excited when my mom told me that I might qualify for a scholarship at St. James. Since my dad died, my mom has to work very hard to support our family. Because of generous people like you, it’s possible for people like me to go to Catholic school. My mom always tells me to be good and study hard so I can stay at St. Edward. I thank you very much for your help and I will always try my best so one day I can be generous like you.”

Brigette Rassilyer is in the eighth grade at Villa Academy. This is what she wrote: "Throughout my life, my parents have stressed the importance of a good Catholic education. Despite the financial difficulties and the sacrifices they had to make, they have sent my five siblings and me to a Catholic school. I am very thankful to St. James and the benefactors of the Scholarship Program for their generosity and support of Catholic education."

Mary Ann Millican is the director of development for St. James Cathedral as well as a parishioner.


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