ST. LOUIS — St. Mary's leaders announce they have raised $3 million in their efforts to keep the school open after this school year. School leaders said they need $10 million in total over the next four years to continue.
Earlier this fall, the Archdiocese of St. Louis announced they were pulling support following this school year because of a shrinking catholic student body and an increasing financial-aid bill.
"People should really donate to this school because it's actually making a change," Deron Gipson, a senior said during the school's Day of Service.
"People talk about change but we are actually outside right now, taking time out of a school day to make a change in our community. Picking up trash around the community, just making it cleaner. Like Mike England said, just inspiring hope to the community," Gipson said.
School President Mike England said nearly a ton of trash and yard waste will be picked up off of Dutchtown streets by St. Mary's students.
"We understand the importance of this school which is much bigger than the education the young men are receiving," England said.
"What we offer here is a quality Catholic education. Our Catholicity is the glue that holds us together. Even though half of our students might not be Catholic they still benefit from the catholicity of this school. A Dutchtown neighborhood without St. Mary's isn't a good thing for the city of St. Louis," England said.
England said in addition to collecting millions leaders have started a 501(c)(3), found a banking partner and are having positive discussions with the Archdiocese about a transition plan.
He is urging the entire St. Mary's community to band together over the next few years to raise the rest of the $7 million and keep the doors open at the 91-year-old school for decades to come.