St. Catherine Academy’s benefit banquet set for Jan. 27

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Event recognizes 150 years for school

By Kacie Goode

As it has done for the last several years, St. Catherine Academy is gearing up for its annual Portraits of Excellence benefit banquet, the biggest fundraiser of the year. This year’s event is special, however, as it marks the 150th anniversary of the academy.

The event helps support capital improvements, operational needs and renovations throughout the school, including past projects of a new playground and upgrading the gymnasium. The benefit was started after the academy’s alumni association began looking for a way to help raise money for the school and its program has since become a model for other organizations. In its first year, the benefit surpassed expectations by raising around $80,000. For its sixth year, the goal is to raise $75,000.

“The community has been very generous,” said Ed Kirkpatrick a former co-chair of the event. “A lot of former alumni from the high school when it was here, they enjoy coming and they support the school. We’ve really had some generous donations given by a lot of people.”

The benefit not only serves as a fundraiser, but also as a homecoming of sorts for former students, who gather for photos and conversation. The academy has served as a grade school and high school and currently serves students in pre-school through eighth grade with enrollment at a little more than 100. The school is an important part of the New Haven community and the benefit, which averages 150-200 guests, is crucial for its support.

“This is not a publicly funded program here. This is all through donations to run this school and to do all the things that we are doing here,” said Father Chris Lubecke.

The benefit dinner will take place Jan. 27 at the St. Catherine Academy gymnasium. A 4 p.m. Mass with Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz will kick off the evening, followed by cocktails at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. Younger students will sing for guests and older students will help serve the meal.

The anniversary event will highlight the academy and its progress in the last 150 years, as well as welcome guest speakers Tom Wimsett and Michael Boone, who are academy alumni.

Cost is $50 per person, which includes dinner and two cocktails. A cash bar will also be available. The deadline to RSVP is Jan. 17 and seating is limited. To RSVP, call the office at (502) 549-3680 or RVSP by mail to 413 N. First Street, New Haven, KY 40051. Those unable to attend but wishing to contribute can also send a tax-deductible donation.

“We really have a jewel here in New Haven,” Lubecke said of the school, which continues to promote its educational offerings to area families and for many has become a place of learning for family generations.