The Cabrini Family Organization (CFO) at St. Frances Cabrini Academy was established in 2003 after the consolidation of Notre Dame Elementary and St. Pius V School. CFO leaders from both Notre Dame and St. Pius joined as co-leaders for the first, transitional year of Cabrini. We have since been joined by parents from St. Anthony of Padua's school, which closed in 2005. This mix of parents from various area schools has given us a unique blend of experience and knowledge for our organization.
All parents of children at Cabrini “give something back” to the school during the school year. Volunteers are extremely important to the functioning of the school, not only for the fundraising events, but also at many school events. The CFO helps coordinate volunteers for many events, such as our Ice Cream Social, Back to School Night, Parent-Teacher Conferences, Christmas Concert Night, Catholic Schools Week, and Field Day.
The Cabrini CFO has been very fortunate to have so many dedicated parents who work long and hard to make sure our financial goals are met and our events go smoothly. But the CFO is only one part of the whole picture. Our parents make the CFO, the students make the school, and the staff makes it happen. St. Frances Cabrini Academy has been very fortunate to have so many people who care so deeply about the school. But what's not to care about? There's just something about the place...
The Cabrini CFO is, first and foremost, a fundraising group. Our organization is required to raise at least $35,000 each year to help fund some of the school's programs, such as physical education, computers, and music. We have concentrated most of our yearly effort into two major fundraising events (one in the fall and one in the spring), so that we don't overwhelm our parents with a perpetual series of fundraisers all year long.
Walkathon - Our fall event is a Walkathon, which we hold in Tower Grove Park in October. The children receive pledges for walking a route in the park. Afterwards we hold a potluck meal at one of the park's pavilions.
Dinner Auction - Our spring event is a Dinner Auction, usually held in our Gym/Cafeteria. We have a catered dinner, entertainment, and offer lots of items in a silent auction.
“SCRIP” - We also have an ongoing program that is generating more and more funding each year. This is called the “scrip” program. We purchase, from one company, gift cards or certificates for many local restaurants, grocery stores, and retailers. We purchase these cards and certificates at a discount (between 2 and 20%, depending on the business) and sell them at face value. The amount of our discount, then, becomes our profit. The great things about this fundraiser are (1) our school families are not required to fill a sales quota, (2) much of the sales are generated from the parish communities, and (3) these cards and certificates are often used to make purchases that would be made anyway (for instance, to buy groceries).
We are always open to new ideas for fundraising and constantly tweaking our old standbys to make them better.
Cabrini in the Community
Our two main fundraising events happen to be good community builders as well. Not only do we gather as a school family and have a lot of fun together during the Walkathon, we are very visible as a school during that afternoon in Tower Grove Park, with our T-shirts and banners. Our dinner auction gives us a chance to see many people outside our school community that come back year after year to show their support. These two events are a lot of work, but they're also a lot of fun. It's really great when we all work together to pull off one of our events and accomplish our goal.