TLS, Fundraising, and You: A Letter from the Headmaster

February 1, 2021

Dear TLS Families and Friends:

I think we’d all agree that the past twelve months have marked one of the strangest years most of us have ever experienced. Much of what we take for granted as normal has been disrupted, suspended, or canceled outright. Many things have changed, yet “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8), and His Word, our precious heritage, stands forever (1 Peter 1:25).

God has been good to Trinity Lutheran School these past twelve months. Enrollment exceeded our projections. Our teachers and school families have stayed healthy. We’ve been able to keep our deviations from the normal to a minimum. But in those areas where our normal intersects and interacts with the state of things in the greater Cheyenne community, we’re limited in our ability to just keep things the way we’d like them to be.

Last year’s Gala & Auction was a great success. Who can forget wending the way to the Terry Bison Ranch through freezing fog, going most of the night on generator power, all of the Western-themed good times…and that amazing prime rib? And all that on what turned out to be pretty much the last evening that such an event was possible before the shutdowns occurred! It was truly a night to remember.

But we all know that since last year’s gala times have been very hard for small businesses, many of whom here in Cheyenne have been perennial sponsors of our gala and auction. Some have gone under completely. Those which are fortunate enough to still be operating have drastically tightened up their budgets and are bracing for lean years. On top of that, many of our school parents have been busier than ever before, leaving them with little expendable time for things like volunteering. This is totally understandable.

All that said, Trinity Lutheran School has a budget, too, and the revenue half of that budget has always included projected fundraising goals. When these are not met, we have a deficit, and that deficit has to be covered one way or another by the end of the fiscal year. Unlike the United States government, small Lutheran parochial schools do not have endless credit.

Closing the gap through an abundance of charitable giving would be in all ways preferable to a tuition hike. Ideally, Trinity would be funded 100% through charity, and fee-for-service wouldn’t figure in at all.

But for a whole host of reasons, many of them outside of anyone’s control, that’s just not a realistic expectation right now. We can’t bank on it. We can, and we will, try to keep tuition at a level that working families can afford, as we’ve done ever since we first opened our doors to the greater Cheyenne community. But at the end of the day we have to set tuition at a rate proportional to whatever is not offset through charitable giving. (And we have to keep pace with inflation. Otherwise our teachers effectively take a pay cut every year, and no one can afford to do that. That’s just reality!)

However, we can offset that figure quite a bit. “Charity,” as you know, is a synonym for “love.” And not just love in some shallow, sentimental sense, but the love of God— love which has been poured into the hearts of those who know Jesus Christ by faith as the Lord who bought them, love which wants no return on its giving other than the good of the recipient. We give charitably because God first loved us and gave us His Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. So when you get right down to it, charity is pretty powerful stuff.

So, the upshot of all of this…

We WILL be having a Gala & Auction this year. The auction portion might be a little smaller-scale, but we do plan on having our event.

We WILL be having a gun raffle. We have two awesome packages this year, one featuring a Canik TP9SFx 9mm handgun, and the other featuring a Browning X-Bolt Long Range Extreme rifle in 6.5 PRC. Tickets will be on sale very soon.

We WILL be having a pledge drive. If God has blessed your family financially this year, we hope that you will consider making a tax-deductible charitable gift to Trinity Lutheran School, either by joining us at the gala on March 13 or by making a cash donation. You can read more about the gala here: trinitycheyenne.org/gala

Whether or not you’ll be able to join us this year, please use this form to let us know what your plans are: you can pre-order tickets, sign up to sponsor a table, or put down a pledge for a donation.

Interested in lending a hand with preparations? We’d love to have your help. Please contact the TLCS office by phone (307-635-2802) or email (office@trinitycheyenne.org); we will put you to work!

Let’s finish out the 2020-2021 school year strong and start the new school year with that same strength, God willing and by His grace.

Your servant in Christ,

Magister Demarest
TLS Headmaster

P. S. to SCHOOL PARENTS – A hard copy of this letter is coming home with your child, along with an event flyer and official event announcement letter for the gala. We’d be much obliged if you’d put the flyer up in a conspicuous location, perhaps at your favorite restaurant or a business your family supports— with permission of course! Businesses needing Tax-ID info for donation purposes can be given a copy of the announcement letter. Thank you!