Catholic education has been an important part of life in Fort Dodge almost since the town was founded. The first Catholic school got underway in 1862. The 151 years since have witnessed many changes and stupendous progress. The impressive educational complex that is today's St. Edmond is a treasure admired and valued by the whole community.
The world of the 21st century is vastly different from the America of the Civil War era. Even so, the dedication of the Catholic community to the enhancement of its educational system, which was robust from the very start, remains a powerful force in our day. That's a commitment that deserves admiration and helps build a stronger Fort Dodge.
Schools are an expensive proposition. Privately funded educational enterprises can prosper only when those who prize their special qualities have the creativity and commitment to generate the monies required.
Consequently, it is very good news that the just-completed initial phase of St. Edmond's capital campaign has achieved $3 million in pledges.
A major reason for this initiative is to make possible a one-to-one computer program for the school. About $1.2 million has been earmarked for that important project.
That priority, however, is only part of the story.
The additional $1.8 million will support various infrastructure needs - some of which are quite urgent. Renovating the school's aging heating system is among the planned uses for these monies.
Taking note of the fundraising success so far, Mary Gibb, president of St. Edmond Catholic School, said she is impressed with the support that has been shown.
"It shows me how committed people are to maintaining the tradition of excellence in our Catholic school," she said.
The Messenger congratulates the campaign co-chairs - Keith and Jayne Kolacia and Rick and Pam McCarville - and all the hard-working fundraisers at St. Edmond for their success. The many Fort Dodgers who hold this school dear are making generous investments in its continued excellence. They deserve our applause.