AuSABLE FORKS — Crowds gathered in AuSable Forks Monday to support a school that has provided Catholic education to the community for nearly a century.
At its annual Labor Day Celebration fundraiser, Holy Name School of St. Mathew’s Parish hosted a plethora of family activities to celebrate the unofficial last day of summer and the upcoming start of its 100th academic year.
The school, which serves residents of Black Brook, Jay and surrounding areas with its pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade programming, first opened its doors to students in September of 1913.
“This is the beginning of our 100th year of education at Holy Name School,” said the Rev. Kris Lauzon, pastor, at the Labor Day event.
“When we graduate the students in 2013, that’ll be our hundredth graduating class.”
Through the years, Lauzon said, Holy Name has striven to provide its students with a quality, Catholic-faith-centered education and instill in them the value of acting and treating others respectfully.
“A lot of it is the sense of the Catholic mentality towards education in the sense of what we are called to be as members of the body of Christ, as God’s children ... and the way we then treat one another,” he said.
While Holy Name does charge a minimal tuition to students who can afford it, only about 10 to 15 percent of the school’s operating budget is covered by tuition, according to Lauzon.
The Labor Day Celebration, which takes place on and around the school grounds and boasts hours worth of entertainment, helps to support Holy Name’s educational services.
“We rely a lot on fundraising, and this is really one of our biggest fundraisers for the school for the year, and it’s a great community builder too,” Lauzon said.
This year, the Most Rev. Terry LaValley, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg, was the grand marshall of the event’s opening parade through town.