Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Nazareth Guild’s ‘Celebration of Light Gala’ raises over $400,000 for Eastern Washington Catholic schools

the Inland Register

(From the October 16, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)

Awards were an important part of the Nazareth Guild’s third annual “Celebration of Light” Gala last month. From left: Janice and Jerry Anhorn of Walla Walla received the “Champions of Catholic Education” award, as did Kathy Hicks (third from left), principal of All Saints School in Spokane. Dr. Duane Schafer (right), superintendent of schools for the Spokane Diocese, received the Ann Doherty Lifetime Achievement Award. (IR photo courtesy of the Nazareth Guild)

The third annual Nazareth Guild “Celebration of Light” Gala took place the evening of Saturday, Sept. 13, at Gonzaga University’s McCarthey Athletic Center.

The event continued a pattern of sold-out gala events, with more than 600 people in attendance this year.

The evening raised over $400,000 in support of Catholic schools in the Spokane Diocese during this academic year. The three Gala events together have raised approximately $1.5 million.

Emcees, volunteers and musical entertainment this year came from the Walla Walla Catholic schools.

The work of the Nazareth Guild was highlighted during the course of the evening.

One aspect celebrated was the “Bishop’s Brigade” – volunteers from the construction industry who have worked to resolve issues of deferred maintenance in Catholic schools.

Though only formed as of last January, 2014 has seen $25,000 in donated materials, $45,000 in contributed professional services, 700 volunteer hours, and over $35,500 invested by the Guild itself.

Facilities work included roof repairs, windows, plumbing, painting, and other maintenance projects.

Tim Welsh, chairman of the Board, was quoted as saying, “One of the goals of the Nazareth Guild is to improve the safety and efficiency of the physical plant of our schools…. I wanted to explore the possibility of putting together a platoon of volunteers with varying skills that could tackle the deferred maintenance issues at our schools.”

Two individuals were honored with awards specific to Catholic education.

The Ann Doherty Lifetime Achievement award was given to Dr. Duane Schafer, since 1989 the Superintendent of Schools for the Spokane Diocese.

Dr. Schafer has been an educator since 1968, serving in Ohio and Florida before coming to the Spokane Diocese. He has ministered in Catholic schools as a teacher, principal, and superintendent.

The “Champions of Catholic Education” award was presented to Kathy Hicks, Principal of All Saints School, Spokane, and to Jerry and Janice Anhorn, supporters of the Walla Walla Catholic schools.

Kathy Hicks is beginning her 25th year as principal of All Saints School.

She is herself a product of Catholic education – Catholic elementary and high school, and Gonzaga University.

Before beginning her ministry at All Saints, she taught mathematics at Gonzaga Prep, Spokane.

In addition to her work with a variety of councils and committees, Hicks is the recipient of the National Catholic Education Association Distinguished Award.

Jerry and Janice Anhorn, who also received the “Champion of Catholic Education” award, have been and continue to be important players in the Walla Walla Catholic community.

In Walla Walla, Jerry attended St. Patrick grade school and high school, for a total of 12 years, before graduating in 1955. He went on to receive a bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate in education. For her part, Janice is a registered nurse who has also been active in the nursing community.

Their involvement in Walla Walla Catholic Schools includes teaching at both DeSales and Assumption, volunteer nurse at Assumption, assistant and head football coach, head basketball coach, head track coach, bingo fundraiser chairs, member of the original Endowment Committee, school board president, co-chairs of the first several HOPE fundraiser events, committee member for several capital campaigns, interim development director for Walla Walla Catholic Schools, and chair of the Walla Walla Catholic Schools Annual Fund, and Home & School.

It was announced that the Father Coughlin Scholarship Endowment has raised over $130,000 so far.

The scholarship endowment is named for Jesuit Father Bernard Coughlin, chancellor and former president of Gonzaga University.

Over 700 students in Catholic schools entered a writing contest, around this theme: “How have Pope Francis’s words and actions influenced or inspired you in your faith and Catholic education?” Excerpts from some of the winners were included in the Gala’s program.

In a greeting within the evening’s program, Archbishop Blase Cupich wrote, “all of us are here because the children and families who benefit from the great work of the Nazareth Guild have found a place in our hearts.”

He called the fund-raising success of the Nazareth Guild “nothing short of remarkable…. You have every reason to be proud of belonging to such a group.”

There is good reason, he said, for calling the Gala “a Celebration of Light. Thank you for being that light for our children this night.”

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