Jan 28, 2014

D’Amours announce Challenge Grant program for Catholic elementary schools



(Iobserve file photo)

Staff report

SPRINGFIELD – Having attended Catholic schools, Michele and Donald D’Amour know firsthand the value of a Catholic education. They also understand that tuitions can prevent some young children from receiving the benefit of a Catholic school education.

With that in mind they are announcing, in conjunction with Catholic Schools Week 2014, the D’Amour Challenge Grant.

Thirteen Catholic elementary schools in western Massachusetts will have the opportunity to raise up to $5,000 later this year, which the D’Amours have pledged to match. The only stipulation will be that the total funds be used for tuition assistance grants. Each school can develop its own creative fundraising effort.

Franciscan Sister of St. Joseph, M. Andrea Ciszewski, the superintendent of diocesan schools, expressed her gratitude for this generosity.

“We are deeply indebted to Michele and Donald for this overwhelming gift opportunity, which reflects their belief in the mission and ministry of Catholic school education,” Sister Ciszewski said. “We thank them for their ongoing response to the call of stewardship and extend gratitude to all those donors who support our students and our schools.”

The D’Amours are longtime supporters of Catholic education and were among the 2010 recipients of the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA).

In addition to the new challenge grant program, in 2013 the D’Amours provided a $50,000 challenge grant for academic improvements at St. Michael’s Academy in Springfield. Michele D’Amour is an alumna of the former Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School, one of the academy’s legacy schools.