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Area students raised almost $5K to support faith-based education nationwide

Holy Trinity Catholic School Division raised the money during Catholic Education Week during the “Toonies for Tuition” program that the Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association (CCSTA) organized.

Catholic students and staff from the region raised thousands of dollars this year to support faith-based education in areas of Canada where pursuing such learning is financially difficult for some families.

Holy Trinity Catholic School Division raised the money during Catholic Education Week this year during the “Toonies for Tuition” program that the Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association (CCSTA) organized. 

Saskatchewan won the overall national fundraising title — it collected $23,801 — as it raised the most per full-time equivalent student. Moose Jaw’s Holy Trinity raised $4,875.80, the second-most in the province, while Prince Albert raised the most with $6,526.63. 

Catholic trustees briefly discussed the initiative during their recent board meeting.

Division administration typically shares this information as a good news story during its faith celebration and mass new-school-year kickoff events, said Ward Strueby, director of education. 

Strueby explained that he learned how much Holy Trinity Catholic School Division raised after attending a recent meeting of the Canadian Catholic School Trustees Association (CCSTA). Furthermore, he heard of the positive effect that these dollars have in supporting faith-based education across the country.

“It is very impactful,” he remarked.

With a smile, Strueby said that “much to my chagrin,” the Prince Albert Catholic School Division raised the most money again for the Toonies for Tuition program. The northern school division collected $2.34 per student, while Holy Trinity raised $2.17 per student and Christ the Teacher in Yorkton generated $1.82 per student. 

In Holy Trinity, École St. Margaret School raised $3.40 per student, All Saints in Swift Current raised $2.77 per student and Christ the King in Shaunavon generated $2.73 per student. 

This information will be shared at the Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association’s upcoming annual general meeting, a place where Strueby likes to “taunt the group” about how much Holy Trinity raises annually.

“And I told Lorel (Trumier, Prince Albert’s education director) that we’re coming for her because next year is our year,” he joked. “And you know what, if it wasn’t for the (teachers’) sanctions, we would have got (the title) too.”

Donors could give either in person or online, with the online submissions feature working well since it people tax receipts, Strueby said. Meanwhile, he appreciated how every student brought in their toonies since the program is a great cause. 

“… you never know. We may be in a spot one year, too, where we have to raise money to get kids into Catholic education,” he added.

Back to school

Division administration has already created a schedule of activities for the first week of the 2024-25 school year:

  • Friday, Aug. 23: New teacher orientation at the division office
  • Monday, Aug. 26: An administrators’ meeting
  • Tuesday, Aug. 27: Teachers at school all day
  • Wednesday, Aug. 28: The opening faith day for all staff, with a morning mass at St. Joseph and lunch and a speaker at the Moose Jaw Events Centre’s curling centre that afternoon
  • Thursday, Aug. 29: A full-day professional development seminar at the Events Centre
  • Friday, Aug. 30: Teachers at school all day
  • Tuesday, Sept. 3: Students’ first day!

Strueby said the administration had hoped that Michael O’Neill, a “miracle hunter” and documentarian who created a film about the appearance of the Virgin Mary in 1871 in Pontmain, France, would be the main speaker on Aug. 28. However, he has been filming in Mexico, so the division office may have to find someone else.

The next Holy Trinity board meeting is Monday, Aug. 19.  

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