By Tim Leeds
The St. Jude-Havre Central Alumni Association is working to to keep the parochial school up to date and preparing it for needs of the future.
Three new computers the association just purchased for the school arrived last week. That is just the latest of many contributions the group has made to the school.
The association also purchased the bus St. Jude-Havre Central uses, science equipment for the school, cameras, a new photocopier, the eighth-grade graduation gowns, new books, donate $500 a year for the school's teachers to go to their convention, and donate $100 a year to both the St. Jude-Havre Central eighth-grade graduation breakfast and to the Havre High School senior graduation breakfast. The association also collaborated with the St. Jude-Havre Central Booster Club to buy a curtain for the stage in the school gymnasium.
The association was originally founded in 1989 by Margaret Kucera, who was the principal of St. Jude-Havre Central at the time. Mary McLain, current director of the association, said it was originally founded to build a trust to keep in reserve for times of need at the school. She said while the trust is still in effect, the association is trying to keep the school up to date. She said if the school falls too far behind, there won't be any students, and there would be no point in raising money.
The main fundraiser for the association is a mailing asking for donations for the school. Graduates from each year are requested to write a note on a letter to their classmates, which is sent out with a contribution envelope.
Contributions can be designated for the bus fund, library fund, computer fund, science room or school equipment. The donor can write in any designation they wish which is not listed, including the trust fund. The donation can also be designated in memorial of the donor's choice.
The association continually works to improve the school. They buy the tassels to go with the graduation gowns, and McLain says they will probably replace the aging gowns with new ones soon. They have bought the school nine or more computers in the past, and have helped obtain other donated computers as well. McLain said their book purchases for the school have come to about $1,300 this year.
The association holds an all-school reunion every five years, with the next in 2001. They often hold silent auctions and other fundraisers at these events as well, although McLain said these are usually more for fun than anything else.
At the last reunion, they auctioned autographed photos and posters of music and screen stars. McLain said for the next one, they will have autographed sports memorabilia, including an autographed photo of the late football great Walter Peyton, with a certified letter showing its authenticity.