Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Anonymous Benefactor Gives St Agnes $500,000 in "Challenge Grant"

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An anonymous benefactor has offered a $500,000 "challenge gift" to spur others to donate and help save St. Agnes High School.

The donor, whom school officials would not name, has no official connection to the St. Paul parish or the K-12 school, said the Rev. John Ubel, the Frogtown parish's pastor and the school's superintendent.

Officials at St. Agnes have said running deficits for years and a projected enrollment drop would make the high school unsustainable and threatened it would close at the end of the school year. About 200 students now attend the high school. Lower grades would be kept open.

"This gift is not a cure-all," said Ubel, who met with the benefactor late last week. "But it's the first piece of evidence that some people are willing to make a major financial commitment. It means an awful lot to the school."

Contributions to support St. Agnes should be sent to the attention of Father John Ubel, St. Agnes Schools, 530 Lafond Ave., St. Paul, MN 55103. PioneerPress

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