Sacred Heart UN-Gala: different clothes, same good cause

W.C. Mann

Sacred Heart School Principal Greg Hughes


CULLMAN – On Saturday evening, Sacred Heart School (SHS) held its eighth annual Legacy Gala at Stone Bridge Farms’ Browne Stone Centre.  Previously a formal soiree, this year's event went casual, earning it the self-styled title of the "un-gala."

While the wardrobe was a little easier, the cause was the same: to raise scholarship funds for SHS students.  The school currently has 186 students enrolled in pre-K through the sixth grade.  According to SHS Financial Manager Ron Gates, approximately 40 percent receive some type of scholarship.

Gates says that the school's annual budget is around $950,000 with approximately $350,000 funded by donations from Sacred Heart Church, scholarships and private donors. 

The $75-per-ticket event included one of those dinners for which Stone Bridge is well-known, dancing with DJ John Capeles and a huge silent auction.  More than 70 individual and corporate donors contributed items ranging from plush animals and gift baskets to weekend getaways.  Raffles gave away $1,000 cash, a $1,430 Louis Vuitton handbag and other prizes.

There was something for everybody: casino trips, tickets to sporting events and Rock the South, jewelry and purses for her, shooting supplies and a Nick Saban-autographed La-Z-Boy for him (Yes, she might like those, too!), art, gift certificates/cards and good old cash.

While final numbers were not immediately available, the crowd was estimated to be between 175 and 200.  The event is expected to raise around $20,000 for the school.

The Tribune caught up with SHS Principal Greg Hughes, and asked about the school.

The distinction of SHS, according to Hughes is that "We give you a whole-child education.  We work on character formation, we work on teaching students right from wrong.  We work on teaching students empathy, compassion and care.  We teach all of those things among the regular subjects within the school day, because we want our students to be not only great members of our church community, but of our civic community as well.

"The great thing about SHS is it's a community atmosphere.  You come to school, you make friends.  The students are very friendly, the teachers are fantastic.  We have six religious sisters on staff, a caring pastor; so it's a place we'll hopefully make you feel at home."

Helen Lewis, SHS alumnus, present SHS parent and one of the event coordinators, was proud to be part of something that helped out her school, almost as proud as she is to be part of the school family itself.

Said Lewis, "Beyond the fact that we have an amazing faculty, it really is a family.  Everyone there knows who I am and who my kids are, and I can call on them any time.  It's always been a family, and that's why my kids go there."

For more information on Sacred Heart School, visit


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