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Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin
October 18, 2002 Issue

Holy Family builds on future through its past

Development plan reconnects school and alumni

By Jeff Kurowski
Compass Assistant Editor

A Green Bay Catholic elementary school is building for the future by reconnecting with the past.

Holy Family School, which began as St. Agnes School in 1955, launched a three-year development plan in 2001, which includes components designed to build relationships with alumni. The school's first alumni newsletter was mailed to approximately 1,200 graduates in March. The first-ever school reunion, planned by a 10-member alumni committee, was held in August in the school gymnasium.

"For the graduates, their nine years here were important times in their lives," said Lynn Mullins, who heads the Holy Family Development Committee. "We want them to still feel a part of the school. The newsletter allows us to share updates about the school and the alumni to let us know what they're doing."

"We are planning a reunion every year," she continued. "Some of the graduates who attended this year's reunion had not been back in the school in years. The first thing they did was go upstairs and find their old classrooms."

Alumni from the classes of 1956 to 1987 were invited to the first reunion with special emphasis placed on the classes celebrating 45, 40, 35, 30, 25 and 20-year graduation anniversaries and the class of 1956, the first to graduate from St. Agnes School.

The development plan also includes the distribution of an annual report to parents, parishioners and alumni, and an annual campaign. The first Annual Campaign of Support, which ran from May 5 to Sept. 30, collected gifts for current needs, including asbestos removal, replacement carpeting in the library and new science textbooks; donations for future needs, a tax-exempt endowment fund maintained by the Holy Family School Foundation Inc.; and pledges for prayer support.

"It isn't just about financial support," said Mullins. "We have more than 30 prayer partners. There are a variety of ways people can support the school."

The diocesan department of development assisted Mullins and development committee members Kay VanBoxel and Jane Wicker in implementing the financial components of the annual campaign.

"They gave us direction," said VanBoxel. "We didn't have to develop it on our own. Chris Broslavick (Total Catholic Education) and Cindi Brawner (Development) were so helpful in getting us started. They gave us a template. It was so nice to have that to fall back on."

Information brochures and pledge cards were mailed to all members of St. Agnes and St. Elizabeth Seton parishes, who jointly support Holy Family School. Alumni will be included in future campaigns. Totals from the first campaign were $13,180.50 designated for current needs, and $1,837.50 towards future needs.

"It's a good first step," said Mullins. "We first looked at development seven years ago during the accreditation process and realized we have something good here. We decided to make sure we had something good here in the future."

"Continuing the Legacy ..." serves as the theme for the annual campaign. VanBoxel said it fits the school's mission.

"I went to school here and my children attend school here," she said. "Over the years the school has changed for the better. I can remember when there were classes with more than 40 students. There are smaller class sizes now. There is more diversification among the classes offered."

"The students are so blessed to have the Franciscan nuns there and so lucky to have a convent on the premises," added VanBoxel. "It's good for the kids to see the sisters living out their vocations."

"The theme fits nicely with the focus on the alumni," said Mullins. "We've seen the benefits of a good, solid Catholic education and realize that we need to support it."

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