March 24, 2017
Catholic Extension is giving a boost to the eighth annual Seminarian Education Dinner and Auction: a matching grant of up to $50,000.
The matching grant is an initiative of Catholic Extension, which supports mission dioceses like the Diocese of Nashville across the country. The goal of the initiative is to help mission dioceses grow their funding for seminarian education, explained Sandra Jordan, director of grants and annual giving for the diocese.
It’s the second time Catholic Extension has provided a matching grant for the diocese’s Seminarian Education Dinner.
“The previous matching grant was a one-time thing,” Jordan said. But it proved so popular with donors that Catholic Extension decided to again offer the Diocese of Nashville “a match grant, dollar-for-dollar, up to $50,000 on any funds raised and received in cash between March 16, 2017, and May 31, 2017.”
“We would really like people to take advantage of the opportunity” to double the value of their donation, Jordan said.
People can specify that they want their donation to go toward the matching grant, and they can make their donation before the dinner on Tuesday, May 23, Jordan said. In fact, the earlier people make a donation, the better, because it will give her more time to process the donations before the May 31 deadline, she explained.
The first time Catholic Extension made the matching grant available was in 2012. The Seminarian Education Dinner and Auction had raised $12,000 the year before. The grant matched any money raised above the $12,000 mark up to $50,000. That year, the dinner raised $62,000, and the grant pushed the total raised to $112,000.
Last year’s dinner raised $190,000, and the goal for this year is $225,000, Jordan said. “Our hope is $250,000, and our dream would be $300,000,” she said.
“If we had 10 people give $5,000 each, we would start off with $100,000,” Jordan said.
Since the fundraiser was established in 2010, the event has quickly grown as an important contributor toward the costs of educating the future priests of the Diocese of Nashville.
The diocese currently has 26 seminarians studying at seminaries in the United States and Rome. Each year, the diocese spends more than $1 million to educate its seminarians.
The dinner and auction, sponsored by the Serra Clubs of Williamson County and Nashville and the Knights of Columbus, will be held 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, at Holy Family Church in Brentwood. Organizers are soliciting more sponsors, and the auction items will include a cocktail party for 10 at the historic Harrison House in Franklin, including a reception, music and a VIP tour of the home and farm that served as a Civil War spy headquarters, field hospital and command post for Confederate General John Bell Hood during the pivotal Battle of Franklin in 1864.
Organizers are hoping for another sellout crowd for the event; Holy Family can accommodate 600 people.
Tickets are $100 each and tables of eight are available for $800 and tables of 10 for $1,000. Reservations will be taken until the maximum of 600 is met or by Monday, May 15, whichever comes first.
For more information about tickets, sponsorships, auction items or making a donation toward the matching grant, contact Sandra Jordan at 615-783-0267 or email@example.com.