Sacred Heart Receives Estate Gift

  • 29 September 2020
  • Author: Alisha Koonce
  • Number of views: 1489

UPDATE 9/30/2020 - Frequently Asked Questions about the impact of this gift on the school and Endowment Fund.

Sacred Heart Catholic School is pleased to announce that the school has recently received a very generous estate gift from 1941 SH graduate, John Lachowsky.

Mr. Lachowsky, who most recently lived in Hot Springs and passed away in 2019, left 90% of his trust to the school – a value of $1.6M.  This is the largest single gift the school has ever received. What an impact Sacred Heart Catholic School must have had on Mr. Lachowsky, remembering us in this way after 80 years have passed.  This gift is an incredible blessing to our school, and we are so very grateful. We look forward to sharing more about his family and history with Sacred Heart soon.

It is our fervent goal to honor Mr. Lachowsky by ensuring that his gift will benefit the school both now and for generations to come.  A portion of the gift will fund current project needs while the majority has been allocated to the school’s endowment fund to ensure the future financial health and security of the school.
After careful consideration and by recommendation of the school board, the following projects have been funded, representing many issues that have been on the “capital improvement” list for several years.  We believe that Mr. Lachowsky would appreciate that his donation will benefit today’s students, right now.  These priorities include:

  • The purchase of a new school bus. The current bus is 20 years old and has become increasingly difficult and costly to maintain.  This will give us reliable and safe transportation for our students as they travel to ballgames, field trips, etc.
  • Completion of the high school flooring project. Several years ago we began work on this project but were not able to complete it due to asbestos abatement issues. We are now able to consider options that best suit the needs of the school going forward.
  • Investment in our faculty and staff. Sacred Heart teachers and staff choose to work here because they care about Catholic education. They are among the most committed and caring teachers and staff around, and we recognize that they do this at a personal financial sacrifice.  The school has been working for years to more fairly compensate employees.  This one-time bonus is a token of our gratitude and our way of sharing with our people the generosity of Mr. Lachowsky’s beneficence to the school.
  •  Investment in the William Voliva Memorial pavilion. William (Bubba) Voliva, who passed away in January 2020, was a committed volunteer and devoted step-father to recent graduate Madison Harper. Madison reached out to the school with a generous gift to honor Bubba’s service at the school with the addition of a pavilion in the courtyard between the school’s high school and elementary buildings. This space will be used by students for lunch and outdoor classes, as well as during events hosted at the school.  It is a perfect way to honor Bubba.  Madison is spearheading the pavilion’s design and provided the initial funding; the Lachowsky funds will help complete the project.
  • The school recently announced that it will be changing the school mascot, effective by the 2021-2022 school year.  The school board has elected to use funds from this gift to make the necessary changes to sports uniforms, etc.

The remainder of the donation is allocated to the Sacred Heart Catholic School Endowment Fund for investment and will nearly double the value of the fund (which is currently valued at $1.4M).  The Endowment Fund is set up to benefit and sustain the school for years to come. Each year, the school receives a distribution from the fund at a rate of approximately 4%, the majority of which directly affects the school’s operating budget.  More detail about the Endowment Fund is enclosed and available online.

In 2019-2020, the school received $51,368 from the Endowment Fund.  Mr. Lachowsky’s gift will dramatically increase the fund balance, which will in turn translate to a significant increase in the distribution to the school each year.  Mr. Lachowsky’s gift and legacy will continue to provide financial security well beyond 2020. 

The Sacred Heart Catholic School Endowment Fund was established in 1986.  It is managed by an elected Board of Trustees who ensure that it is properly invested and accounted for so that it remains intact for generations to come.  More information about the Endowment is available in the attached 2019-2020 annual report or at  




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