St. Christopher School plans progress report on attempt to avert closure
STEVE METSCH firstname.lastname@example.org January 21, 2014 6:32PM
St. Christopher School Principal Maureen Wilson (middle) listens to the concerns of Paul and Julie Mikrut at the meeting to help keep the school open of Midlothian at St. Christopher Church on Wednesday in Midlothian. | Gary Middendorf/For Sun-Times Medi
Updated: February 23, 2014 6:38AM
Supporters of St. Christopher School in Midlothian, which is slated to close after this school year, will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday to update parishioners on their attempt to raise enough money to convince the Archdiocese of Chicago to keep the elementary school open.
The meeting will be held at the church, 4130 W. 147th St., one week after fundraising plans were announced in hopes of collecting $2 million, which school officials said would keep the school open at least eight years.
Members of the St. Christopher finance committee met Tuesday with representatives of the archdiocese to discuss the plan, according to a committee member.
“It was very positive, but we don’t have any answers yet. I’m not sure how long it will take them to respond,” said longtime parishioner Nancy Callaghan, a member of the finance committee. “We may know more (Wednesday).”
She said “an update on our situation” would be presented at the meeting.
“We want to be transparent,” Callaghan said.
The plan calls for people to pledge $1,000 a year over five years for a total of $5,000. If 400 people do that, it would provide the school with the $2 million.
“We’re short (of the goal), but we are getting there,” Callaghan said. “We’ll reveal the number (Wednesday). Sunday was a very good day.”
Volunteers have been calling the school’s 4,500 alumni, asking for and often receiving pledges of financial assistance, she said.
“We have quite an extensive list of the alumni, who have been incredible,” she said. “We’ve contacted alumni who live out of state. People are very loyal to St. Christopher School. They may have moved out of town, but they still have good memories of the school.”
There are 1,100 active families in the parish, finance committee chairman John Clavio has said, and 200 businesses in Midlothian. All can expect to be contacted during the drive.
St. Christopher School was targeted for closure at the end of the current school year because its enrollment of 217 students is slightly lower than the 225 benchmark the Archdiocese uses when deciding which struggling schools to shut down.
St. Bernadette in Evergreen Park, with fewer than 100 students, also is targeted for closure.
Over the past four years, the Archdiocese had given St. Christopher School $1.1 million to help pay the bills, officials said.