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Ed Parks and fellow Class of 1954 Gesu Catholic School alumnus Don Bridenstine have been friends for years. Don’s recent experiences volunteering at Gesu prompted him to ask how they could be doing more to help the school. Ed’s positive experience working with the Catholic Foundation to set up a Donor Advised Fund for his family’s annual giving led him to suggest to Don that they work with the Foundation to create a permanent endowment for Gesu Catholic School.

“Don and I felt that others who we or the school might reach out might be attracted to the combined virtues of a permanent endowment whose income went to tuition support and a Catholic Foundation supported by the Archdiocese that would be managed by professionals and legally separate from the school. We also believed that such a fund might appeal to both other alumni and local Catholics as a charity to name in their estate plans,” Ed shares.

Ed and Don invited other alumni to join them, and within weeks they raised more than twice the initial money needed to open the fund. “We hope this only the beginning,” they share. The Gesu Catholic School Alumni Endowment Fund is now open to receive contributions for tuition support for students and other needs of the school. 

Gesu is one of the few remaining Catholic schools in the city and is diverse and vibrant. "We are happy to have a giving option that allows donors to give in perpetuity to Gesu. As our donor base expands, I would like to have as many giving options as possible," Anita Sevier, Gesu Catholic School's Community Outreach Coordinator shares. She adds, "The staff of the Foundation has been very easy to work with. They assisted us when needed and I feel very comfortable working with them."

Ed echoes similar sentiments for those who might be considering opening a fund,“Working with the Catholic Foundation has been excellent. The staff is hands-on and offers personalized attention, and their reporting is clear.” 

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The Gesu Class of 1954

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Igniting Hearts.

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Catholic Foundation of Michigan

1145 W. Long Lake Road, Suite 201
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302

Phone: 248.204.0332

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