ACE fundraiser scheduled for Oct. 27, moves online

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The Advancement of Catholic Education annual fundraiser has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 27, and will be moved online. The event will be hosted by ACE board member Marty Blair, pictured above from last year’s dinner. Tennessee Register file photo by Andy Telli

The annual fundraiser for the Advancement of Catholic Education has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 27, and moved online.

The ACE event will follow a format similar to the recent Seminarian Education Mass, Event and Auction. That event, held virtually on July 28, replaced a traditional dinner and silent and live auction with a livestreamed Mass, online auction, and videotaped messages from Bishop J. Mark Spalding and others, soliciting donations to help pay for the cost of educating the Diocese of Nashville’s seminarians.

The ACE online fundraiser, which will be hosted by ACE board member Marty Blair, will open with a prayer from Bishop Spalding, and will include several videotaped messages about the importance of supporting ACE and Catholic schools in the diocese, according to Mike Lavigna, director of marketing and enrollment management for the diocesan Schools Office.

The videotaped messages will be from people speaking about their experience in Catholic schools, the important role Catholic education plays, and how tuition assistance provided through the ACE endowment has helped them, Lavigna said.

In addition, the Christ the Teacher Award will be presented to an outstanding Catholic school teacher during the event.

ACE was created in 1992 to provide additional funding for the 16 diocesan schools, primarily through tuition assistance.

“We want every family desiring a Catholic education to have access to our schools,” diocesan Superintendent of Schools Rebecca Hammel said during last year’s ACE event. “We want schools at full capacity so students can have a deep and loving relationship with Christ.”

ACE funds can be used by the schools for more than tuition assistance, Lavigna said. It can be used, for example, to purchase academic materials or fund campus improvements.

Donors can designate their gift for a specific school or for a general fund that is used to help all the schools, Lavigna said.

Last year’s dinner, which was the third time the event had been held, raised a record amount of more than $400,000. Half of that was raised through sponsorships, ticket sales and donations, and the balance came from a matching grant from an anonymous donor.

Organizers are hoping to exceed last year’s donations before the matching grant of just over $200,000, Lavigna said.

The ACE event is the largest fundraiser of the year for Catholic schools in the Diocese of Nashville. 

The diocese and its parishes and schools will again participate in the “I Give Catholic” online giving campaign held each year on Giving Tuesday right after Thanksgiving, Lavigna said.

For more information about the ACE event, sponsorships or how to make a donation, visit

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