Hudson Catholic to stay open

May 7, 2008 8:26:31 PM PDT
A local Catholic high school that was set to be closed by the church because it had no money has gotten a reprieve Wednesday. A remarkable fund-raising drive and a half-million dollars later, and the school will stay open.

It's the Hudson Catholic Regional High School on Bergen Avenue in Jersey City.

Eyewitness News reporter Nina Pineda has the story.

"Hudson Catholic Regional High School will be open in September," the Reverend Kevin Hanbury told a packed gymnasium Wednesday night.

The 44-year tradition will continue and the Hudson Hawks will continue to soar.

It's all because of a grassroots effort by students, faculty and alumni to save their school. They raised $500,000 in just two weeks.

"We were given an ultimatum," Mayor Jeremiah Healy said. "Raise $400,000 or close the school."

"There was a passion from all the alumni who went here," one alumnus said. "And we all agreed that these were a great four years, that we enjoyed it so much that we owed it to the school to succeed."

Last time the crowd gathered there, they were told that Hudson Catholic, one of just seven Catholic regional high schools in the Archdiocese of Newark, would close its doors on 400 boys. A protest drew the attention of the schools alumni.

"When the word spread that the school was closing, we gathered together as a family and as a community," an alumnus said.

"I called out to the class of '93," another said. "And there was other classes that were called. And they were more than happy to send money and help us out."

It paid off in outright cash donations. And now, students will be back in the fall.

The school has raised enough to stay open through the 2008-2009 school year. Then, they're going to try to stay on track financially so they never have to worry about closing again.