Lee & Vi Kellen Technology Fund

Passing on the Gift of our Forefathers – Lee & Vi Kellen Technology Fund

     Lee and Vi
On April 24th, the Catholic Church   in Le Mars & Gehlen Catholic School will celebrate  their 148th anniversary.  On April 24, 1870, Peter & Catherine Gehlen held the first Catholic Mass in Le Mars.   

     Mr. Chuck Kellen (1977 Gehlen Catholic alum, past Gehlen Catholic Board of Education President & Gehlen Catholic School Endowment Fund Chair, & current President of the Diocese of Sioux City’s Catholic Schools Foundation President) noted his family has talked over the years on our ancestors' efforts to establish & sustain the Catholic Church & school.

Chuck said, “Our parents reiterated many times our forefathers paid for it (the Church & school) for us.  We are now being called to pay it forward with our prayers, labor, & almsgiving.  Today – it is our duty!” 

Prior to Lee’s (’47) passing on March 28, 2014, Lee & Vi, established a    Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) to benefit Gehlen Catholic School.  The Kellens leveraged their CGA to secure funding from the Dell Corporation, thanks to the assistance of their daughter, Kristi (‘80) & son-in-law, Joe Van Dam, Vice President & GM Sales Operations, to improve the school’s technology.  

On Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2018,
Vi made a donation of $50,000 to Gehlen Catholic School to establish the LeRoy & Vi Kellen Technology Fund (hereafter referred to as the “fund”).  The fund exemplifies the Kellen family’s legacy to Catholic education.  The Kellens continued commitment through the fund ensures todays & future students graduate with the 21st century skills needed for today & the future. 

On Ash Wednesday, Vi said, “Christian education is the only solace in today’s world.  In all of our interactions with our students over the years, we have seen firsthand how much better off our students are because of the faith, morals & values Gehlen Catholic has instilled into them.  Our forefathers didn’t build the Church & school back then for it to come to an end.  Today, we are responsible for hearing & acting on God’s calling.  We are all being held accountable to ensure the sustainability & viability of Gehlen Catholic School with our time, talents & treasures regardless of whether or not we have children, grandchildren, &/or other relatives enrolled there.”  

Gehlen Catholic School President, Rev. Bruce A. Lawler said, "We are extremely grateful for Vi's commitment and generosity to Gehlen in establishing the Fund.  It is an investment in our children that will help us continue to provide an excellent education rooted in Gospel values.  Without the generosity of people like the Kellen's, we could not carry out our mission." 

Gratefully, Gehlen Catholic Technology Director, Mrs. Lori Schuch, thanked the Kellen family for their commitment.  Mrs. Schuch echoed, “We are so blessed & grateful to receive this type of commitment from Lee, Vi & the Kellen family.  It was a great beginning to a long-time partnership when we first started talking a few years ago.  Their generosity has really opened some doors for the school.”  

Gehlen Catholic Board of Education Member, Mrs. Anne (Driscoll, ‘00) Oloff was equally elated by the Kellen’s investment in technology.  Mrs. Oloff, who led the school’s Long Range Strategic Plan for 2017-2022 noted the Academic Excellence Goals & Strategies specifically propose “Gehlen Catholic School will appropriately use technology integration throughout the instructional program to enhance student learning.”  The Kellen’s gift will ensure Gehlen Catholic continues to use the school’s resources to provide our PK-12th grade students the state of the art technological resources to ensure their success. 

Individuals, businesses, organizations are invited to make a tax-deductible donation to the Lee & Vi Kellen Technology Fund.  Gehlen Catholic Development Director, Mrs. Lisa Niebuhr echoed Rev. Lawler’s & Mrs. Oloff’s gratitude to the Kellen family for their gift & establishment of the fund.  Gifts of any & all sizes can be sent to Gehlen Catholic School % Lee & Vi Kellen Technology Fund.  Mrs. Niebuhr concluded, “Thanks to the Kellen family, Gehlen Catholic will achieve the vision of our forefathers by providing the current & future youth of Le Mars ‘Excellence in Education. Leadership through Christ.’


Lee & Vi Kellen Technology Fund’s Protocols

The fund is to be invested in a financial institution, prudently invested into the highest possible interest rate without risking the principal of the portfolio.

2. Each year, the School Improvement Academic & Technology Subcommittees will review the students’ academic performance for the previous school year.    In September, the subcommittees will collaboratively determine how to best utilize the technological resources to achieve the State & diocesan mandated goals & Long Range Strategic Plan for the subsequent school year.   

3. If the subcommittees determine enhancements are needed to be made to the school’s technology (hardware & software, not infrastructure), the subcommittees shall propose to the Finance Subcommittee the needed technological resources & expenditures.

4. In developing the school’s budget for the subsequent school year, the Finance Subcommittee may request to use a portion of the fund.  The subcommittee may use up to $5,000 or 10% annually, whichever is greater.  The maximum funds requested cannot exceed $10,000 per year.

5. The fund may not be used to replace the school’s allocated financial technological resources &/or operating budget.  Instead, the fund is only to be used to supplement the operating budget.

6. Once finalized, the Finance Subcommittee will inform the Kellen family & present the proposed budget & request to the Board of Education for the upcoming school year.

7. The Development Office will market the fund to other benefactors, alumni, businesses, etc. 

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