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Auction for Catholic schools nets approximately $600,000





More than $600,000 was raised at Saturday's Auction for Christian Education at Thomas More Prep-Marian Junior-Senior High School in Hays.

Unofficial numbers won't be available until later this week, because donations still are coming in for Item No. 60, an elevator for the administration/classroom building on campus.

However, Jeff Brull, advancement director at the local Catholic school, said it's safe to say it "was a record-breaking year that exceeded all our expectations."

The previous raised in any one year before at ACE, which was started in 1975, was $397,866 last year. This year, the elevator project alone brought more than $320,000, including a $100,000 match from the Leo J. and Albina Dreiling Trust.

Brull said anyone interested in donating to the elevator project can call him at the school at (785) 625-6577.

Item 60, usually designated for a certain improvement for Hays Catholic schools, has grown in popularity in recent years. This year's item -- the elevator -- especially got people's attention because it's been a dream of a lot of people for many years, Brull said.

"An elevator is the key to using our historic and beautiful building to its fullest potential," he said of the massive four-story building. "This should be adequate for our elevator, making our school accessible at long last."

The auction was streamed live over the Internet, and Brull said there were viewers from "all over the world."

"We received raffle ticket orders and elevator contributions from people as near as Hays and as far away as Alaska," Brull said. "Our alumni, friends and local businesses are the lifeblood of our Catholic schools. With the help of hundreds and hundreds of people, we raised more than $600,000 in support of our students and their Catholic education."