September 23, 2011

Superintendent of public instruction Tony Bennett is keynote speaker for Celebrating Catholic School Values Dinner on Oct. 26

Criterion staff report

Indiana superintendent of public instruction Tony BennettIndiana superintendent of public instruction Tony Bennett will be the keynote speaker as the archdiocese honors six individuals during the 16th annual Celebrating Catholic School Values Awards Dinner on Oct. 26.

The individuals who will receive the 2011 Career Achievement Awards at this year’s event are Eduardo Parada of Holy Spirit Parish in Indianapolis, Msgr. Joseph Riedman, Robert and Ann Steiner of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in New Albany, Glenn Tebbe of St. Mary Parish in Greensburg and Dr. Louis Wright of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Indianapolis. They will be honored for using their Catholic education to make a difference in the world.

The event has raised more than $4.4 million through the years to provide tuition assistance for disadvantaged students who want to attend archdiocesan schools. The dinner will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. at the new JW Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis.

Bennett plans to talk about educational choice in Indiana, and its role in improving education for students in the state. He is a 1979 graduate of Our Lady of Providence High School in Clarksville. He also was a teacher and basketball coach there.

The premiere annual Catholic school event in the archdiocese brings together corporate sponsors in celebration of archdiocesan Catholic schools. Corporate sponsorships are now being accepted. Platinum partnerships for the event represent a $15,000 gift for scholarships. Gold sponsors are $10,000, silver partners are $5,000 and bronze sponsors are $1,750.

“This year provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to assist families with the cost of Catholic education,” says G. Joseph Peters, associate executive director of the archdiocese’s Office of Catholic Education.

“The new school choice initiatives passed by the Indiana legislature this summer will allow us to assist more families with their Catholic school tuition, to invite families to enroll their children in our schools, and to qualify kindergarten students for the new state scholarships.”

Many donors to this year’s event will be able to realize significant tax benefits, Peters noted.

“This year, we are requesting that some donations be directed through the Educational CHOICE Charitable Trust, a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) under the new laws,” he said. “Donors who qualify—individuals or corporations—are eligible to take advantage of a 50 percent credit against their state tax liability as well as claim the gift as a tax deduction.”

(For more information about the event, donations or SGO tax credit scholarships, contact Rosemary O’Brien in the archdiocese’s Office of Stewardship and Development at 317-236-1568 or 800-382-9836, ext. 1568, or send an e-mail to robrien@archindy.org.)

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