For the City Times
The anonymous donor of a half-million dollars to Pacelli Catholic Schools was revealed Tuesday.
The identity of the major donor responsible for the $500,000 gift to the “Pride in Our Past…Faith in Our Future” capital campaign was made by philanthropist and alumnus Tim Copps who graduated from PCS with the class of 1960. The gift was used as a matching gift challenge for maximum impact of the campaign.
“Tim’s gift is a great blessing to us,” said PCS Director of Education Gregg Hansel. “It will help us in so many ways, not just now but well into the future.”
The gift will be used, in part, to fund renovations at the St. Stanislaus School building in preparation to become the new home of the Pacelli Catholic Schools Tim Copps Early Childhood Center.
“Tim’s gift was instrumental in helping us raise an additional $1 million towards our capital campaign,” said Hansel. “Those additional funds are crucial to continuing a strong tradition of Catholic schools in this community.”
The remainder of Copps’ gift will be used to establish the Excellence in Education Fund for teacher salary enhancement created through the capital campaign.
“That piece really stood out to me,” said Copps. “You need to provide people with a good salary.”
Copps’ identity was revealed after a recent meeting between PCS administrators and Copps, who spends his summers in Stevens Point and winters in Naples, FL.
Tim Copps is a fourth generation member of The Copps Corporation. While serving as president, Copps along with his brothers and cousins decided to focus on developing Superstores, the first of which was opened in Oshkosh in 1984. From there they expanded to Manitowoc, Appleton, Green Bay, Stevens Point, and Fond du Lac, opening smaller stores in many other parts of Wisconsin. In 2001, The Copps Corporation sold 22 Copps stores to Milwaukee-based Roundy’s, which was later purchased by Kroger in 2016, allowing Tim Copps to focus more on philanthropy.
“I’m glad the fund drive was a success,” said Copps. “I’m glad I was a part of it.”
Major philanthropic efforts of Copps include supporting other local organizations like the Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, United Way, and UWSP, among others.