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2021-22 Annual Appeal


GOAL:  $85,000:  WE ARE CURRENTLY AT 100%

  • To make a donation online, CLICK HERE (under "Gift Designation" select "CCS Education Fund / Annual Appeal")
  • To mail a donation, download our DONATION FORM
    • Mail to:  Columbus Catholic Schools, Attn: Development, 710 S. Columbus Ave., Marshfield, WI  54449
  • For more information, contact the Development Department
  • Read "The Dash Poem" HERE

For Keri (Ress '89) & Joe McCormick '89, Giving Back to Columbus is "Purposeful"

My husband Joe and I met at Columbus Catholic High School and graduated in 1989.  We remember sitting “all in our places with bright shining faces” in Mr. Rozak’s speech class; and the “pronoun cheers” taught by Sister Miriam Claire can still be easily recited. We fondly look back at pictures of homecoming weeks, sporting events, and school dances. There were many lessons learned while playing sports for mentors and role models such as Coach Kroll, Mrs. Komis, Coach Soderberg and Mr. Rozak.  A great deal of our life lessons were shaped in high school, and have given perspective to our adult lives. We even planned our wedding as a project in Mrs. Nugent’s Christian Lifestyles Class six years before we were actually married!  During those years we volunteered at Meals on Wheels, in elementary classrooms and every year at Alpine Holiday. The memories are countless! Whether we were in the classroom or band room; on the field or court; leading as part of the student council; or being active at school Masses - attending Columbus was a great experience and has made a significant impact on our lives.

Our decision to continually support the Columbus Catholic Schools, even though we now reside in Appleton, has always been important to us. One way that we can help our three children to live their faith and be closer to Jesus is to be generous role models.  We purposefully give back to the system that supported and shaped us into who we are today. Further, the quality education we received at Columbus - along with the healthy relationships we established in school - guided us as we moved on to college, grad school, and our first jobs. Joe and I attended separate colleges and then moved on to careers and advanced schooling; and the foundation built for us at Columbus Catholic Schools was a clear set-up for success.  We each know this deep in our hearts, and we have a firm desire to become the pebble that is thrown into the water, creating ripples of effect across many different students, families, and communities.

We want children in every community to have the opportunity to attend a school like ours. It is important to us to give back to our high school - to help other students in the Marshfield community experience all that Columbus has to offer. The cost to educate a student at Columbus Catholic Schools is significantly higher than the cost of tuition and we know that our donation makes the tuition more affordable for every family. We hope you will join us in contributing to the Columbus Catholic Schools’ Annual Appeal. Once a Don, always a Don!

Keri and Joe McCormick, Columbus Catholic High School Class of 1989

P.S. Ed Hastreiter, class of 1967, is offering a matching donation up to $8,000 to any new gifts to the annual appeal; or to anyone who has increased their gift by 15%... giving you the opportunity to double your gift if you qualify!  Ed reminds us of the poem “The Dash” and encourages us to “live our dash.”  This year’s goal is $85,000.  At the time of print, we were at 89% of our goal.  You can “live your dash” by making a donation and helping us reach our goal!


A MESSAGE FROM Ken Sternweis, CLASS OF 1972

Dear Columbus Supporter:  In conjunction with the Columbus Catholic Schools 2021-2022 Annual Appeal - and on behalf of CHS Class of 1972 - I am privileged to share with you how our Columbus experience has impacted our adult lives.  For me personally, Columbus instilled in me a sense of service to others, which included responding to the need for a Communications Coordinator for the Class of 1972.  We hold our reunions every five years like most classes, but as we spread out from coast to coast, we felt the need to go beyond reunions and stay connected on a more regular basis - or over The Dash (see reference below). 

The simple task of creating an email list of fellow classmates has allowed me to maintain connections with classmates and assist them in reaching out to one another and nurturing connections that started cultivating during our years at Columbus.  From asking for prayers for a classmate experiencing ill health or a life difficulty; to announcing the passing of family members; to announcing get-togethers and birthdays - I am proud to say that my efforts have succeeded in keeping our class connected and achieving a sense of family among us! 

Testimonials from the Class of 1972

“My years at Columbus means Faith, Family and Fun!  It gave me spiritual guidance, structure, and enjoyment in the four years that I was there.  I loved the smaller class sizes.” - Joellen (Weber) Heiman


“Columbus not only gave me an amazing education, but a true gift of special friends that I will always cherish.” - Mary (Pankratz) Tollefson



As part of our 2017 CHS Reunion, we were treated to a tour of our alma mater conducted by CCS Athletic Director, Joe Konieczny.  As a result, we were inspired as a class to take on a fundraising project to finance the replacement of windows in a classroom.  We were successful in that endeavor which was in addition to what we, as individuals, would normally contribute to the Annual Appeal. 

This year’s Annual Appeal has a goal of $85,000.  The cost to educate a student is higher than what CCS charges for tuition (about 30%).  However, tuition is intentionally kept low to keep a Catholic education affordable for families.  Consequently, CCS relies on donations and fundraising to make up the difference. 

This year’s Annual Appeal runs from November 2021 to February 2022.  November 30, 2021 is also “Giving Tuesday,” so mark that date on your calendar for your contribution!  As an incentive, Ed Hastreiter, Class of 1967, is again offering a match!  This year he will be donating up to $8,000 to match any first-time gifts; or match anyone who increases their 2020-21 gift by at least 15%.  Ed reminds us of the Linda Ellis poem, The Dash which tells us what matters most on our tombstones is not the years of our birth and death, but the dash in between representing our accomplishments during life. Please consider a donation to the Annual Appeal this year, and “Live Your Dash!”

Thank you,

Ken Sternweis, on behalf of the
Columbus High School Class of 1972


Read a message from one of our students

It feels like just yesterday that I was starting 4K at St. John the Baptist School.  And here I am today - a senior at Columbus High School - thinking about college and planning for my future!  When I look back at my time at Columbus Catholic Schools (CCS), I am so grateful for many things.  I am amazed at the dedication of our teachers and staff; they truly ensure students are challenged in the classroom and are well-prepared for college and life after high school.  But they teach us so much more than academics.  At CCS, we serve others by giving back to our community and supporting those in need.  Most importantly, the strong faith we’ve developed will carry us through the challenges of life.                        

When I was in 4K, I admired the “big kids” at CCS, especially the basketball players.  Now I am preparing for my final season.  Basketball at Columbus is not just a game; it’s about helping the younger players, volunteering as a team, deepening our faith, and working extremely hard.  I am so thankful for the values and lessons the coaches have instilled in me; and I am grateful my parents chose CCS for my sisters and me.  

During this year’s Annual Appeal, I ask you to consider how you might help support Columbus, because we need you.  With your generosity, we can keep the Columbus Legacy strong and ensure bright futures for many.  On behalf of the Class of 2022, we appreciate your prayers and generous support.

Sam Wilczek, Class of 2022
Columbus Catholic High School



Last year I decided to offer a matching contribution to the Annual Appeal.  For those who donated for the first time or increased their gift over the previous years' contribution by 10% I matched their donation up to $7,000. I also encouraged our supporters to read The Dash and challenged them to work on their "Dash" by following the teachings of Christ and helping others by giving back.  

This year I am offering another matching gift of up to $8,000 to anyone who makes a first-time donation or increases their gift over last year's by 15%.  

Life is not about waiting for the winds to change... but about adjusting your sails. So adjust your sails and increase your contributions to Columbus Catholic Schools and contribute to the success of the current generation of students.  BE PROUD OF YOUR DASH!