Mater Dei Prep Reaches $1 Million Fund-raising Goal to Keep the School Open
The Seraphs have been saved.
The fund-raising effort that was tasked with raising $1 million by April 15 in order to ensure the school does not close in June after 50 years due to financial difficulties announced Thursday morning that it has reached its target goal.
The Save the Seraphs campaign has gone past the $1 million mark with nearly three weeks until the April 15 deadline. The campaign was launched after the stunning announcement on Feb. 3 that the school would close in June due to financial difficulties. Two days after the announcement, Rev. Jeff Kegley, the pastor of St. Mary Parish, announced a two-month window to raise the necessary funds for the school to continue, and the effort has achieved its goal.
The accomplishment is a "major victory for the future of Mater Dei Prep,'' Jim Shaw, the trustee of The Seraph's Fund and chair of the Save the Seraphs campaign, said in a news release. "We believe this moves us beyond financial stability for next year and allows us to continue the cycle of fundraising to ensure long-term sustainability.”
The goal is for Mater Dei Prep to become a private Catholic institution that operates separately from St. Mary's parish and the Diocese of Trenton. The leaders of the fund-raising effort want The Seraph's Fund to act as an endowment that will ensure financial stability for the school. The new business model will need final approval from the Diocese of Trenton before Mater Dei Prep can go forward with it.
The "Save the Seraphs" effort was helped to the finish line by a fund-raising gala on Sunday that raised $95,000, including a $50,000 check from prominent alumnus Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News.