September 14, 2012

Changes will mark celebration of Catholic education

By John Shaughnessy

Several changes will be introduced when the archdiocese holds its 17th annual Celebrating Catholic School Values: Scholarship and Career Achievement Awards event.

A new format will mark the event, which takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 30 at the Crowne Plaza Grand Hall at Union Station in Indianapolis. Instead of a formal dinner, there will be a large reception and a shortened program honoring the three people who will receive this year’s awards.

This year’s Career Achievement Award recipients are Providence Sister James Michael Kesterson, retired principal of St. Jude School in Indianapolis, and Dennis Sponsel, chairman of the Mother Theodore Catholic Academies board. Fred Klipsch will receive the Community Service Award for his leadership as the president of School Choice Indiana and the Educational CHOICE Charitable Trust.

This year’s event will also focus on promoting the importance of Indiana tax credit scholarships as a way to make a Catholic education possible for children from lower and moderate income families.

“The goal of the archdiocese is to have Catholic schools identify each and every eligible potential kindergarten or first-grade student, and offer the opportunity for a CHOICE Tax Credit Scholarship so that the student may be eligible for an Indiana state school voucher,” noted G. Joseph Peters, associate executive director of the archdiocese’s Office of Catholic Education.

“Eligibility can only be established during the first year of enrollment in the Catholic school, and could qualify a student for a state voucher of $4,500 or more annually for the next 12 years—a potential $54,000 to $64,000.”

Contributing to the tax credit scholarships also provides a great tax reward for donors, Peters said. Donors can get credit for up to 50 percent of their state tax liability for a qualifying donation to the scholarships plus a federal tax deduction.

“This year’s event will raise money through our approved Scholarship Granting Organization and for general scholarships for our most needy students,” Peters said.

More than $270,000 has already been raised as the result of 11 regional breakfast meetings across the archdiocese with potential individual and business donors.

There are several levels of sponsorships available for this year’s event and scholarship program. Platinum sponsorships are available at $15,000, gold at $10,000, silver at $5,000 and bronze at $2,000. Individual tickets to the event are $75.

For more information about the event, tickets or sponsorships, contact the archdiocese’s Office of Stewardship and Development at 317-236-1568 or 800-382-9836, ext. 1568. †

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