At the close of the 2017 spring semester, an iconic school in downtown Leavenworth closed its doors for the last time.
After approximately 90 years of operation, Immaculata Catholic High School waved goodbye to its final graduating class.
Declining enrollment led to its demise. In its final days, enrollment dipped to fewer than 100 students.
That led the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas, to accept the recommendation of the school’s board of directors to close the school.
But Immaculata’s closing did not bring an end to Catholic education in Leavenworth.
Still operating is Xavier Catholic School, which features 215 students in preschool through eighth grade.
“We’re alive and well,” said Lisa Forge, director of recruiting, enrollment, management and marketing for the school. “We have such a huge history (in Catholic education) and we don’t want to see that go away.”
To support that effort, Xavier Catholic School will hold its annual fundraiser this weekend – just a block from where Immaculata used to exist.
Ignite the Green & White is billed as “A Night of Faith & Hope.”
The event will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday at J.W. Crancer’s, 530 Delaware St.
“It’s our premiere scholarship event of the year,” Forge said.
She said the event has replaced the former Catholic school system’s annual fundraiser, the Greenway Auction.
Forge said the difference with the new fundraiser is that it is strictly a fundraiser for student scholarships and not for school operations.
Forge said last year’s event raised $106,000 in student scholarships. She said organizers anticipate more this year.
This year’s event will feature a cocktail hour, silent auction, raffle, dinner, student performances and a dance.
The program will feature a presentation to Sherri Schwinn and Carol Schmidt, as well as the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, for their dedication to Catholic education in Leavenworth.
Saturday’s event is sold out, but scholarship donations are always accepted. Those interested can also participate in the raffle and silent auction online.
The raffles include trips to Hilton Head Island and the wine country in California.
To enter the raffle or silent auction online, or to donate to the scholarship fund, visit www.leavenworthcatholicschools.org