Seeds of Hope Year in Review
As we look forward to a great 2020, starting with the Solemnity of Mary celebration on January 1, we take a step back to review 2019 and relive some Seeds of Hope (SOH) highlights from the last year of the 2010’s:
Just can’t wait to get on the road again: In the first and second quarters of the year, SOH teamed up with the Schmitz Family Foundation and ACE Scholarships to attend priest deanery meetings all across the Archdiocese of Denver (AoD), from Littleton to Fort Collins. The priests have enormous credibility and opportunity to promote Catholic schools to their flocks; these deanery meetings were opportunities for a little face time with nearly every priest in the diocese and explain how financial aid is available to families who may need some help in sending their children to AoD Catholic Schools. Visiting with these Men of God was consistently informative, sometimes funny and heartbreaking, and above all, always inspiring. SOH also continued its “Around the AoD Tour” of schools, touring every one of the AoD’s 37 schools with small groups of supporters.
Variable Tuition Roster rollout grows for January registration: Working closely with the AoD’s Office of Catholic Schools, SOH helped bring on eight more schools to the Variable Tuition Program for the 2019-2020 school year. In January of 2019, 22 schools were using this tool to help make tuition decisions for families for the 2019-2020 school year.
Luck O’ the Irish: Thanks to magnificent hosts (Kaye and Randy Hammond and Susan and David Viereck), SOH’s Irish Fest in March was a wonderful night of celebration and great kickoff to spring. More than 100 supporters who purchased Irish Fest tickets at our 2019 Evening of Hope event enjoyed the night and we were lucky to toast St. Patrick’s Day with Archbishop Aquila.
A bottle of red, a bottle of white: Behind the generosity of hostesses Julie Bunsness, Cindy McNamara, Dee O’Neil and Judy Weisiger, SOH hosted an April reception at Carboy Winery in Littleton to thank a special group of donors for their support.
It’s a long way to the top: In May, Very Rev. Randy M. Dollins, Vicar General for Clergy, led an expedition of SOH supporters to the top of the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden. Stopping along the way to discuss different parts of history (and catch our breath!), the group persevered through the rain and the 373 steps to reach the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue at the Shrine’s summit.
Be the ball: On June 10 on a perfect Colorado cloudless summer day, SOH hosted Golf for Hope at the Cherry Creek Country Club. Thanks to a sold-out field of 132 players, the event raised more than $120,000, blowing past our total for the 2018 event.
SOH among the “One Percenters” with perfect score: Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest evaluator of nonprofits, in June again awarded SOH with a perfect score of 100 for its Financial Health and Accountability and Transparency. Less than one percent of the thousands of charities rated by Charity Navigator have earned perfect scores – SOH is proud to be on the list!
Evening of Hope crosses goal line: On November 9, SOH hosted its annual “Evening of Hope” gala that serves as our largest annual fundraiser. This year, SOH hosted the event at Empower Field and honored Maribeth and Bill Hanzlik as the Sister LaVonne Guidoni Awardees for their service to Catholic education. Guest speaker Matt Birk, former Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year and Super Bowl Champion, gave a rousing and motivating speech, as did Arrupe Jesuit freshman Emily Maerz. Maribeth Hanzlik brought down the house with her heartfelt gratitude in her acceptance speech to the sold-out crowd of more than 370. Thanks to the generosity of our guests, the event raised more than $500,000!
Give where you live, indeed: On the biggest day in Colorado philanthropy, Colorado Gives Day on December 10, SOH supporters did not disappoint. With a late rally, this year surpassed last year and raised nearly $37,000, which is a huge win as 2,569 nonprofits are competing for attention through this program!
Growing SOH family: 2019 was a year of celebrations for the SOH team, with three weddings and a new baby son! With at least one more baby due and another wedding scheduled for 2020, we are excited for our expanding team.
Behind the scenes – our biggest highlights: Besides all of our fun and fruitful events, the generosity from so many supporters that nobody ever sees continues to be the heartbeat of SOH and was again our biggest highlight from 2019. We cannot adequately express our gratitude to those who believe in Catholic education enough to give to SOH – the individuals who provided SOH with a gift and the Foundations who approved our applications.
With much to look forward to in 2020, we wish you all the happiest New Year and hope God continues to bless you as he has blessed us here at Seeds of Hope.