Purchase photos

ACE auction breaks past record





Preliminary reports from Saturday's Auction for Christian Education in Hays show a net gain of at least $670,000, according to Jeff Brull, advancement director at Thomas More Prep-Marian Junior-Senior High School.

Half of that came from donations for one item alone, as approximately $340,000 was raised for the "fourth floor reclamation project."

With the addition of a junior high to the 83-year-old building two years ago came the need for more classroom and office space. Renovation of the fourth floor, a spacious area that formerly served as residential space for male boarding students, will free up space for students on the second and third floors. The total for the night set another record at the 40th annual event, surpassing last year's total of $630,500. It marks the fifth consecutive year of breaking the previous record.

Brull said official numbers should be in later this week.

Nearly $6 million has been raised at ACE for the Catholic school since the inaugural auction in 1975, which netted $22,000.

The auction gradually brought in more each year and topped the $100,000 mark in back-to-back years in 1982 and '83, with the aid of matching funds from the Leo J. and Albina Dreiling Trust Fund.

The Dreiling trust fund also contributed to this year's total, giving $100,000 to the fourth floor reclamation project. The first $200,000 year was 2006, with numbers topping $300,000 in 2011 and climbing higher each year.