$6 million raised in LCC Capital Campaign

LIMA — On Saturday, co-chair Barb O’Connor spoke about the LCC Capital Campaign’s success and thanked the development staff for their hard work for what turned out to be an “absolutely amazing” fundraiser resulting in over $6 million in donations.

This was the first time all Lima’s Catholic schools — St. Charles, St. Rose, St. Gerard, and LCC — came together for one fundraising event.

According to Eric Wiechart, president of the Lima Central Catholic Educational Foundation, “the goal of the foundation is to support the schools, the families and the students and to promote the achievement of effective education. With this campaign, we raised over $6 million of endowed funds, and the earnings from that will be used to reduce the price of the tuition. Just under 400 people participated in donating to the campaign.”

O’Connor provided a summary of how the schools will each benefit from the campaign: 60 percent will go to the LCC Educational Foundation, 30 percent will go to LCC and 10 percent will go to the three grade schools to be split evenly.

“The future of LCC is what the campaign is all about. I think we know that the strength in our elementary schools is really where the future of LCC begins. So, I have the pleasure of sharing with you, to date, each of our elementary schools (St. Rose, St. Gerard, and St. Charles) have received over $70,000 each,” said Father Kent.

O’Connor acknowledged a special thanks to Bill Tafflinger.

“Bill saw the problem and solely was responsible for seeing the financial crisis that LCC was going to experience. He knew the Educational Foundation had to get involved to help the school … He is the reason why we raised $6 million dollars,” O’Connor said.

Father David was hired to the development staff and spent time traveling all of the country to visit with alumni. He joked it was difficult to spend several winter months in Florida, making the crowd laugh.

The Educational Foundation will now also be able to cost-share with the school the rest of the the development staff’s salaries.

“Due to the success of the campaign, the LCC Educational Foundation was able to award assistance to 90 percent of the students enrolled at LCC last year, amounting to $177,804 in scholarships,” O’Connor said.

According to LCC principal Stephanie Williams, due to the success of this campaign, LCC has not raised tuition over the past five years. Prior to this campaign, the Educational Foundation awarded $60,000 in scholarships, on average, each year. Next year, LCC will be positioned to award almost $220,000 in scholarships.

“Every single student is going to benefit next year in some way from the work of the Educational Foundation, and that’s truly remarkable,” Williams said.

Williams cited the nationwide teacher shortage, discussed in a Lima News article, saying, “finding and retaining quality teachers is a very real, systematic problem, especially when you think about the fact that private schools pay on average about 70 percent of what our public school counterparts do.” She said she was thankful the LCC was able to retain teachers despite this fact.