Annual Fund 2017-18

They’re Just What the Doctor(s) Ordered!

Annual Fund Goal: $275,000

When looking for people to chair GSL’s Annual Fund, there are numerous qualities to consider. Are they enthusiastic supporters of the school? Are they actively involved in the school and in the community at large? Are they sensitive to the diverse needs of their fellow parents? Are other parents inclined to follow their lead? Are they willing to put themselves “out there” for the sake of GSL?

Yes to all of the above - and then some.

Ruth Patton is a lifelong Memphian and a graduate of St. Mary’s Episcopal School. She earned her undergraduate degree in Politics at Princeton University before attending medical school at UT Memphis. She has specialized in pediatrics for 16 years. She is also, currently, a member of the GSL School Board of Trustees.

Kurt Patton grew up in the Smokey Mountains of East Tennessee, a native of Knoxville. He graduated from Boston University with a degree in biochemistry and returned south to earn his MD from UT Memphis. A pathologist with the Mid-South Pathologist Group, Kurt also keeps busy as a member of the GSL Church vestry.

Ruth and Kurt enjoy watching the Grizzlies, the Cubs, and, of course, the GSL Saints. They both love to cook, too, but it’s worth a mention that Kurt has an especially impressive and fast-growing reputation as a master whole hog barbecuer. The annual Patton BBQ each fall has become a much sought-after item at the Anchor Auction.

Grace-St. Luke’s is fortunate to have Ruth and Kurt Patton as the chairs of this year’s Annual Fund. Their dedication, abundant good humor, and generosity will ensure that this year’s Annual Fund will be as fun as it is productive – and that’s the perfect prescription for success!

The Annual Fund What & Why 

  • The Annual Fund is the single, largest fundraiser of the school year. (The Parents’ Association’s Anchor Auction is the second-largest money maker.)
  • As with virtually all independent schools, tuition covers about 80% of GSL’s operating budget. The Annual Fund makes up the difference (roughly $2,500 per student).
  • GSL is a not-for-profit business. By design, high-quality schools are labor-intensive and people-oriented. Where a for-profit company might consolidate employee duties and resources to save money, combining classrooms and reducing staff would not benefit our students. Teachers are our most important asset, yet most of them earn less than their public school peers. They choose to work at GSL because they value its commitment to children. The majority of your donations help us to recruit and retain these highly-qualified instructors, to pay for their advanced education and training, and to purchase classroom technologies and campus enhancements. In other words, your contributions have a direct impact on the quality of each child’s experience while on campus. 
  •  While most of the Annual Fund goes directly to faculty support (salaries, benefits and advanced education), contributions are also used to pay for financial aid; maintenance and facility improvements; enhancements to the arts, the library, and other investments, and to strengthen the school’s Endowment.

Basic Q & A

  • Who oversees the Annual Fund?
    The GSL Development Department (Denise DuBois Taylor, Sherry Emerson, and Kate Shelton) works with the Annual Fund chairs and volunteers to raise money each year. Under the watchful eye of the Head of School and the Board of Trustees, the day-to-day management of the dollars raised falls into the capable hands of GSL’s Director of Finance, Daniel Fundo.
  • Does GSL have an endowment? 
    Yes. The school has a general Endowment Fund and six specially-targeted funds:  
  1. The Anchor Fund - Providing long-term stability through a variety of investment opportunities.
  2. The Dennis Cain Facilities Fund - For the maintenance of school buildings and grounds.
  3. The Scholarship Fund - Providing need-based financial assistance to families of current or prospective students.
  4. The Library Fund - Promote and supporting the GSL School library.
  5. The Technology Fund - Providing state-of-the-art technology to students and staff.
  6. The Arts Fund - Promoting and supporting a variety of arts activities schoolwide. 
  • Can a small gift make a difference?
    Yes! Our school community is small with fewer supporters than a major high school or college. Because our donor base is limited, every gift counts! 

It's So Easy

  • All donations to the Annual Fund are tax-deductible.
  • We take Master Card, Visa and American Express.
  • You may pledge now and pay later.
    • (Donors have until July 2018 to pay off their pledges.)
  • You may make a series of monthly installments.
  • You may pledge or pay online.
    • (See the red “Donate” button below.)
  • Lead Donors pledge a minimum of $500, earning them an invitation to the annual (and very popular) Lead Donor Cocktail Party! You may be a Lead Donor for as little as $42 a month! 

Click Here to Donate!