ACE fundraiser is offering virtual table sponsorships

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Organizers of the virtual fundraising event for the Advancement of Catholic Education are offering virtual table sponsorships with some special perks.

The $1,000 virtual table sponsorship will be for 10 people, explained diocesan Stewardship Director Ashley Linville. That group will be invited to an online happy hour the night of the fundraiser, Tuesday, Oct. 27, to have a discussion with a principal of one of the diocesan schools.

“The principal will share things that are going on in their school, how ACE has benefited their school, and also share some of the needs and challenges they’re currently facing,” Linville said.

“It gives people an idea of how ACE is helping our schools and how there’s still a need to grow the endowment so we can help more students and continue to improve our Catholic schools,” he said.

Table sponsors who raise $2,500 will have the happy hour with diocesan Superintendent of Schools Rebecca Hammel, Linville said.

The happy hour will be held from 5:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. and lead into the start of the event at 6 p.m., Linville said. “It’s a good way to still have the social aspect and talk together as a group beforehand.”

The Advancement of Catholic Education, or ACE, is building an endowment to raise funds for tuition assistance at the diocese’s 16 elementary and high schools. Currently, the endowment is valued at about $5 million.

“We’re really building the endowment … that way it funds education in perpetuity,” Linville said. “The goal is for every child who desires a Catholic education to be able to afford one. For our working families whose faith is important to them, we want their kids to be able to go to Catholic schools.”

The goal for the virtual ACE event is to raise $250,000, Linville said.

Besides the table sponsorships, there are several other levels of sponsorship available, he said. And there will be a table naming contest. The sponsors will we asked to come up with a creative name celebrating Catholic education for their table and the winner will receive a special prize, Linville said.

The event also will feature an online auction for the first time. The auction will open the week before the event, and among the auction items will be:

  • A pig roast at Camp Marymount
  • Bordeaux and Burgers with Bishop J. Mark Spalding, including a variety of Bordeaux wines
  • A virtual fine wine tasting with Father Dexter Brewer, pastor of Christ the King Church in Nashville. The wines will be delivered to the homes of the winning bidders who will join an online call with a wine expert leading the tasting. Special foods also will be delivered for the tasting.
  • A bourbon tasting

The virtual event, which was forced online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be hosted by ACE board member Marty Blair and will open with a prayer from Bishop J. Mark Spalding. It will feature several videotaped messages about the importance of supporting ACE and Catholic schools in the diocese, including from students and a featured speaker.

The evening will also feature this year’s winner of the Christ the Teacher Award, which is presented to an outstanding Catholic school teacher each year.

People can join the event online through the website

Those who make an online donation to support ACE will also have the opportunity to honor a teacher who has been special to them, Linville said. “They’ll be able to leave a message for that teacher and the messages will be delivered during Catholic Schools Week to each of the teachers.”

For more information about the event, the auction, sponsorships or to make a donation, visit People also can mail a donation to ACE, 2800 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN, 37214.

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