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St. Philip's Catholic School sets new record for fundraising more than $21,000

Pandemic hardships didn't stop St. Philip's Catholic School from achieving a new fundraising record this year.

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St. Philip’s Catholic School. (Pioneer file photo)

BEMIDJI -- Pandemic hardships didn't stop St. Philip's Catholic School from achieving a new fundraising record this year.

St. Philip's recently announced that students, faculty and families were able to raise more than $21,000 through the Catholic Schools Raffle program that ran Jan. 15 through Feb. 28. Along with 81 other schools, St. Philip's raised a combined total of $1.49 million -- a new record for the program.

Since Jan. 15, students of St. Philip's have been selling $5 raffle tickets as part of the Catholic Schools Raffle, a fundraising program provided free of charge by sponsor Catholic United Financial since 2009. St. Philip's is one of 82 schools in Minnesota and the Dakotas that were involved in 2021, a release said.

"As we continue with hardships due to this pandemic, it feels so good to chalk something like this into the win column," Michael Ahles, president of Catholic United Financial, said in the release. "It has been our privilege to offer this program to local Catholic schools for the last 12 years. They have taken things to a new level in 2021, despite the challenges the lockdowns threw at them. We're amazed and encouraged at this show of support for Catholic education. Congratulations to everyone involved."

The Raffle officially concluded on March 11 with a prize drawing ceremony broadcast live on the Catholic United Financial website. The prizes, valued at over $40,000, included a new 2021 Ford Ecosport SUV, vacations, a $5,000 home improvement package, gift cards, 65-inch smart TVs and more, the release said.

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Funds raised by participating schools like St. Philip's are used to enhance school programs and facilities, including funding field trips, building playgrounds, supplementing tuition costs and providing new education technology, the release said.

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