Regis High/St. Mary School photo
Supporters of Catholic schools in Stayton pick up food at a celebration lunch.
Regis High/St. Mary School photo
Supporters of Catholic schools in Stayton pick up food at a celebration lunch.
STAYTON —More than 70 donors and volunteers last month gathered at Regis High School here to celebrate the success of the “Sharing Our Faith, Shaping Our Future” capital campaign that has raised nearly $5.5 million in one year for the Archdiocese of Portland and local Catholic institutions.

“Together, we have worked diligently to successfully complete the first of five years of this capital campaign. A champagne brunch seemed like an appropriate celebration, so we raise our glasses to toast our success and to say, ‘thank you,’” said co-chairs Jon Heuberger and Tom and Carolyn Lulay.

Leaders were recognized for exceptional service. Kudos went first to local pastors Fathers Irudayaraj Amalanathan, Raul Marquez, Steve Geer and Ed Coleman, whom organizers called "true assets to this effort." Two school principals — Rick Schindler of St. Mary grade school here and Joni Gilles of Regis —worked ahead to make the campaign viable for school contributors. Donors had the option of choosing how their contributions would be used, and one of the options was to support a merger of the two schools.

The co-chairs recognized the complexity of the campaign, which included fundraising for the archdiocese, Regis High School Foundation, Regis High, St. Mary School and parish projects at St. Boniface in Sublimity and St. Mary in Shaw.

“The campaign provided opportunities and challenges," says Heuberger.

Giving choices excited contributors, but is a challenge to manage. Leaders spent hours working to get a tracking system set up that will work over the next four years.

A committee worked with Regis alumni.

“We have alumni scattered all over the U.S. and that created quite a challenge,” explains Janine Moothart, director of marketing and development for the schools.

The committee combined the upcoming 50-year anniversary of Regis with an appeal to alumni. Two big donations totaling $175,000 were used as a challenge match to build a scholarship fund. So far, pledges and contributions exceed $200,000.

Campaign co-chairs Heuberger and the Lulays were recognized for hard work. Thanks also went to John Dillin a fundraising consultant for the Steier Group.

The team’s overall goal is to reach $6 million in five years. Currently, the team has collected pledges and contributions totaling nearly $5.5 million. Of that amount, they met an archdiocesan goal of $750,000, and surpassed the 75 percent mark for preschool-12th grade curriculum and tuition assistance. St. Mary Parish in Shaw exceeded its goal while St. Boniface reached more than 90 percent of its parish target.

The donor appreciation event featured a brunch catered by Trexler Farm of Stayton. St. Mary student Ashtyn Chamberland and St. Mary teacher Heather Woodward provided a presentation on a school-wide, 30-day writing project which, for Ashtyn, resulted in a 40,000 word novel. Students from Regis provided music and service.

“The key to any successful fundraising campaign is to appreciate and support those donating to the cause," Moothart says. "Our brunch was the perfect way to share our appreciation and foster those relationships that will hopefully last for generations.”