By EDWARD HUSARHerald-Whig Staff Writer
Supporters of Quincy Notre Dame High School gathered Thursday to celebrate another successful fund-raising campaign.
Campaign co-chairman Jennifer Winking announced the 37th annual QND fund drive raised $454,895 in gifts and pledges, nearly 9 percent more than the campaign's $418,000 goal.
"We are humbled by the outpouring of generosity and the community support for Quincy Notre Dame," said Winking, who co-chaired the campaign with Ralph Oakley.
Money raised during the fund drive helps keep tuition affordable by paying a portion of the school's operating costs and closing the gap between the $5,850 cost to educate a student and the $4,900 charged for tuition. The drive also supports QND's financial aid program.
The campaign has generated about $11.5 million over the past 36 years.
Principal Mark McDowell said the support is critical in allowing QND to continue its mission of educating "lifelong learners for lives of service." Last year alone, he said, QND students performed more than 9,000 hours of community service.
"They know that their experience here is about more than acquiring knowledge," McDowell said.
The fund drive got underway Jan. 17 with the launch of the initial six-week "advance phase" seeking support from local businesses. That phase brought in 47 percent of the total collected, according to Kurt Stuckman, executive director of the QND Foundation, which oversees the annual fund drive.
Next came QND's annual "parish phase" March 1-2, when members of Quincy's Catholic parishes were asked for donations that made up 40 percent of the total collected. Finally, the alumni "phone-a-thon" May 5-14 brought in the remaining 13 percent of the total donations -- thanks to contributions from QND graduates living outside of Quincy.
Nearly 400 volunteers were involved in various facets of the 2014 campaign.