They did it! QPHS survives

NORTH ARLINGTON —

Somehow, despite the daunting task of raising at least $1 million in just about four weeks, they did it. As a result, Queen of Peace High School has announced it has surpassed its $1 million fundraising goal — and, barring unforeseen barriers, will remain open next school year.

“Against all odds, the Queen of Peace family has responded to this campaign with extraordinary resolve and generosity,” said the Rev. Mike Donovan, pastor and president of Queen of Peace High School. “I am inspired by the outpouring of support and wholeheartedly thank all those who contributed, especially the QPHS Alumni Association for leading the effort and the Board of Overseers for raising scholarship funds. Together, we now move forward in eager anticipation of continuing the school’s 86-year mission of providing a quality Catholic education to students this September.”

As of today, more than 1,325 individuals and businesses have raised more than $1,035,000 to the Save QPHS Campaign, setting three school records, including the largest-single donation in school history, the number of donors in a single school year and the total amount raised in a fundraising campaign. 

The campaign was able to reach its goal in part by two gifts received from Tom Klein ‘80, president and CEO of Sabre Corporation and Jeanette Cerna, ’80 owner of Hormone Harmony, PLLC. 

Klein’s $250,000 gift and Cerna’s $200,000 gift each contributed toward both the $1 million campaign and the school’s longer-term giving campaign. Specifically, Klein contributed $150,000 of his gift toward the campaign. Cerna contributed $100,000 to the campaign. Both benefactors generously contributed $100,000 toward the school’s long-term fundraising campaign.

“We did it!” said Michael Carucci, president of the QPHS Alumni Association. “This achievement is validation by our alumni and friends of the excellent education we have come to expect from Queen of Peace High School.  So many have given back in grateful recognition of the quality education they or their loved ones received at QPHS. Our community has worked hard to preserve that opportunity for future generations of young men and women. As a result of this campaign, I know that we will build an even stronger QPHS thanks to the invaluable assistance of our alumni and friends.”

The fundraising effort consisted of more than a dozen fundraising events, individual and business sponsorships, daily phone banking by faculty, canning drives by volunteers, local church collections, and “dress down” fundraisers by students of QPHS and other Catholic schools.  The campaign accepted a number of donation methods, encouraged corporate gift matching and recognized major donors as part of the new QPHS 200 Club and business sponsorship opportunities. 

In addition to exceeding the short-term goal of the Save QPHS Campaign, as Klein and Cerna’s gifts demonstrate, the school has already received gifts in excess of $200,000 toward its longer-term giving campaign. More details will be released in the near future regarding the school’s longer-term giving campaign.

While there was no mention of it by the school, it is likely the school’s remaining open is contingent upon the approval of the Most Rev. John J. Myers, archbishop of Newark. Myers has not made a statement about QPHS since grating the school a two-week fundraising extension last week.

The Observer Staff