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Anonymous Donor Ensures Worcester Catholic School Will Remain Open

By Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Joe Shortsleeve Joe Shortsleeve
Joe Shortsleeve is chief correspondent for WBZ-TV News weekdays a...
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WORCESTER (CBS) — Christmas has come early to a catholic high school in Worcester. The 70-year-old school was going to close its doors in June.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Lana Jones reports

But since a report by WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve, generous donors have come forward to save the school.

Santa Claus arrived at Saint Mary’s on the back of a Worcester fire truck Thursday morning. And he came with good news.

The middle school and high school due to declining enrollment, were slated to close in June, but the “Save Saint Mary’s” effort worked.

And the future is much brighter.

Chad Panek is a junior at the high school.

“I think that it is great because it really helped me with my growth as a person and I think for everyone especially these younger kids this is a great place to be.”

Following our story in November about the possible closing, the school got a number of calls but one call in particular.

Steve Quist is a parent leading the fight to save the school.

“ Someone saw your newscast. Your newscast struck a chord and someone did come forward.”

The good news is that we know that the high school will be open next year and possibly beyond that and that comes down to this mysterious and anonymous donor.

Quist says “he is a legitimate person. His heart is in the right place. He wants to help us and he is doing everything in his power to do that.”

Tom Olsen is the principal.

“We are talking with this potential donor. He is very excited about our school and helping us. Nothing is etched in stone yet but we looking in that direction.”

Whoever he is, much like Santa Claus himself, he has already brought smiles to the faces at the 73-year-old school on Vernon Hill.

Wojciech Stomski is a high school senior.

“I am just happy for the all the kids that are after me after our graduating class. That will get the chance to finish here because this is actually a really great school.”

The anonymous donor has pledged hundreds of thousands of dollars in the coming years.

The school says it hopes to have everything verified and planned out in the next 90 days.

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