Tuesday was a day of celebration and thanks for everybody involved in the Norwalk Catholic School Endowment Fund.
“Without endowment funds, Catholic education would not be possible for a lot of families,” said Aaron Fries, president of the Firelands Catholic Education Development Office. “It’s the gift that keeps on giving.”
The FCEDO Endowment Fund and Norwalk Parochial School Charitable Trust Fund have provided more than $4.3 million to the school operating budget since 1982.
Thirty-five new charter members were welcomed into the NCS endowment and they were honored during a luncheon at the Early Childhood Center. Also, four new members were included in the Mustardseed Society and 11 new endowment scholarships were named.
Sue Riley, director of FCEDO endowment and planned giving, said it takes commitment and dedication to keep Catholic education going.
“Thank you in believing in Catholic education,” Riley said. “These funds were started by forward-thinking generous supporters. ... You are following in their footsteps.”
There are now 113 charter members and the leaves/nameplates on the plaque are full.
“We have run out of leaves and space on the tree,” Riley said with a laugh. “It’s time to get more room.”
NCS President Dennis Doughty talked about coming back to his alma mater in the early 1980s when many thought the high school would not survive. He left his job at Western Reserve to become principal at St. Paul High School — a leap of faith he said he never regretted.
After retiring from the public school system, Doughty returned to NCS, where he has spent the last five years. He will retire this summer and 1999 St. Paul graduate Martin A. Linder was announced Monday as his replacement.
Patrick Schwan, chairman of the NCS governing board, thanked Doughty for his commitment to Catholic education and welcomed Linder. Schwan headed a 10-person selection committee to interview and select a new president.
“He’s been part of upholding our strong foundation here at Norwalk Catholic School,” Schwan said about Doughty.