The capital campaign being conducted by Marquette Catholic High School in Alton is nearing its goal of $3-million with the announcement of a $500,000 challenge pledge. 

“A benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous has recently come forward and pledged a half million dollars as a match to the next $500,000 raised by the campaign,” said John Keller, president of the Marquette Catholic High School Board.

Peter Tassinari, president of the Marquette Foundation, which is spearheading the campaign, adds, “With nearly $2,000,000 already raised, we now know we'll successfully conclude our first capital campaign in nearly 30 years.  We are confident that the community will step forward during this final push and put us over the top.”

The campaign was initiated in the fall of 2010 in order to enhance the student educational experience, as well as facilitate upgrades to the campus infrastructure.

To date, the campaign has financed numerous improvements, including tuck pointing and sealing of all exterior surfaces, exterior trim painting, upgraded electrical service, new security system, whiteboards in every classroom, additional interactive Smartboards, upgrades to the computer networks, replacement of all desks and lockers, and construction of an improved emergency exit and connector hallway between the 1927 and 1982 buildings.  New windows for the 1958 building are on-order and will be installed in the spring of 2012.  In addition, $250,000 has been placed in the endowment fund.

“Upon receipt of the next $500,000 in pledges, we'll be able to move forward with the final phase of the planned improvements to this historic campus,” says Principal Mike Slaughter.

A major upgrade to the 1957 building will replace and enlarge restrooms adjacent to the gymnasium that serve both the public and student body.  In addition, concession space and display cases for school memorabilia will be added to the new gathering area.  The entire 1957 building will be air conditioned.

All of the upgrades come on the heels of a 60% increase in enrollment over the past five years.

“We knew when we kicked off this campaign last year that it might be difficult to attain our $3-million goal.  But through the generosity of the community, we have made great strides.  The benefactor who recently came forward with the challenge pledge gives us great hope of wrapping up this campaign in the near term,” says Keller.

Tassinari says it's critical for the foundation to receive indications of support from potential donors by Dec. 31, 2011.  “While our benefactor did not put a deadline on the pledged match, we would like to make a showing of good faith and dignify the offer with a groundswell of support.”  Thus, the foundation is initiating the final phase of the campaign, “To the Top in '12.”

Supporters are being asked to make tax-deductible gifts to the campaign and/or fill out a pledge card indicating support for up to five years.  Pledge cards and additional information is available by contacting the foundation office at 618-463-2601 and leaving a message for Steve Tassinari, or the school office at 618-463-0580 and speaking with Mike Slaughter. 

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