Save Our Schools, The Marathon Continues

Today's column about the million-dollar mad dash to save Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Predergast High Schools brought out more tales of extreme fundraising in the name of faith and family. I don't have a list, but I'm told nearly half the 49 schools slated for closure are appealing the Archdiocese's decision.

Dave Garrison emailed to share a tale of how Bonner and Prendie, as they are known, "are a big reason why we stayed" in Drexel Hill even after tragedy struck his family.

Garrison's elder son, David, a 2008 Bonner grad who excelled on the footfall field, died of brain injuries after a 2009 car accident. In a touching gesture especially for Brendon Garrison ('11), the student body renamed the scoreboard after their deceased classmate.

Since then, Garrison's family and friends have held "Hoops for Dave" fundraisers. This year's event took place Jan. 7, one day after students learned the schools would be shuttered.

"They raised over $2,000 and gave it back to the school in order to help their efforts to stay open," Garrison reports. "We also have the David Garrison Scholarship Fund set up to help with students attending Bonner. We have raised over $60,000 in the three years ... We know David would want these schools to stay open."

Additionally, I heard from an alumnae of St. Hubert Catholic School for Girls, which has also been shaking the money tree in an effort to unring the death knell.

"Even though we do not have $1 million (yet), we have $643,000.00," my correspondent  reports. "Pretty good from an all-girls school that has been a cornerstone in Northeast Philadelphia for 70 years."

That haul includes $250 raised at an elementary school bake sale and a $50 bill sent by a retired nun. Touching stuff all around.

Bonner/Prendie had its appeal hearing Monday. St. Hubert's reps go before a committee today. Time will tell whether any of the fundraising will matter.

-- Monica Yant Kinney


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