The St. Mary's Catholic Education Foundation (SMCEF, a 501c3 non-profit organization) exists to support the mission of St. Mary's High School by allowing benefactors make sustaining gifts to the school through a variety of endowed funds.


Established at the 125th Anniversary Gala in 2010, the 1885 Fund honors those whose leadership, commitment and dedication have ensured the school’s continued success for its first 125 years and beyond. Honorees of the 1885 Fund include the Sisters of Loretto who founded the school in 1885; Monsignors Raber, Kipp, Kelly, and Hoffman, who guided the school as pastors, superintendents and principals; lay leaders such as Leo Smentowski ’54, Tom Kelly and Andy Middlemist and, of course, the hundreds of faculty, staff and religious, including Fr. Rawley Myers, who served the school unselfishly over the decades. The fund provides ongoing general operating support of St. Mary’s High School.


On an ordinary Friday afternoon in the spring of 2002, Patrick Ertel ’68 walked into St. Mary’s High School and made an extraordinary gift. “I want the school to have this for scholarships for those in need,” he said as he handed over an envelope. “These are some investments I inherited from my family. I managed them for some time, but have lost interest in them and have decided that they would be best used for this purpose.”

Upon graduating, Ertel entered the seminary, but ultimately discerned that he did not have a calling to the priesthood. His love for the church and St. Mary’s, however, continued to grow as he spent the next 35 years in various forms of
service to others, first in the Peace Corps and then as a community volunteer. Grateful for the education that he received St. Mary’s High School, Ertel decided to create an endowed fund in his family’s name. The Ertel Family Endowed Scholarship Fund provides a lasting revenue for financial aid. Ertel hopes to add to the fund in the years ahead. 


Ernest J. Golobic moved to Colorado Springs more than 20 years ago upon retiring from the USPS in Chicago. Though he and his wife, Catherine, had no formal connection to SMHS, they valued Catholic education and supported the school with yearly gifts to the Annual Fund. When Mr. Golobic’s sister-in-law, Margaret A. Rick, passed away she left him a modest inheritance. To honor his sister-in-law for her generosity and his wife’s commitment to Catholic education, Mr. Golobic chose to create the Margaret A. Rick Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund to support the school’s financial aid program. This permanent fund provides the school with revenue to help ensure that SMHS will be available to those in need. Shortly before his death in 2004, Mr. Golobic contributed some of his own assets to the scholarship fund and, with his daughter’s encouragement, changed the name of the fund to The Ernest J. Golobic Family Endowed Scholarship Fund.


Greg Ernster ’77 and his wife, Suzanne Blichmann Ernster, parents of Lauren ’06 and Paul ’08, established the Ernster-Blichmann Family Endowed Scholarship to provide need-based tuition assistance to students, particularly those interested in math, the sciences, sports, and/or debate. When possible, the gifts follow the receiving students for their entire time at SMHS so long as their need is proven to the foundation each year.


The St. Mary’s Catholic Education Foundation has established the Tom Kelly Scholarship Fund in memory of Tom Kelly, who faithfully served the St. Mary’s High School community as a member of the school board, foundation board, and in advisory capacity for more than 25 years. The fund benefits scholarship and financial aid programs of St. Mary’s High School.


The St. Mary’s Catholic Education Foundation established the Clergy Fund to assist with the funding of the clergy office at St. Mary’s High School, including the salary of a school chaplain and supplies needed to carry out the office’s mission.


Named in honor of Srs. Valerie and Ann Monica Pierce, the Good Sisters Fund supplements funding of the school’s curriculum and teacher development. Each semester, the departments heads submit grant requests to the principal for funding of curriculum or programs that would not otherwise be available. In creating the Fund, Sr. Valerie hoped that it grow through additional gifts from SMHS families, friends, and alumni.


Patrice and Jerry Tafolla established the Tafolla Family Fund endowment in gratitude for all SMHS has provided their family, including an excellent education for their daughter, Sarah ’13, and son, Michael ’15. Their association with the school is a lifelong relationship rooted in faith, community, and a sense of belonging. The Tafolla Family Fund is a legacy gift, providing permanent funding for debt relief and tuition assistance. At the end of each fiscal year, 5 percent of the balance of the fund is available to the school for the following school year.
The Tafollas intend to be lifelong supporters of SMHS, through the Annual Fund and events like the Golf Classic and the Gala, and by adding to the endowment fund. They encourage other families to consider a gift that will provide for the financial future of the school.