The Town Pump Charitable Foundation is donating $1 million to Butte Central Catholic schools, Tom Kenneally Sr., founder of Town Pump Inc., said Thursday night.

Kenneally, a 1942 graduate of Butte Central High, made the announcement during the dedication of the Lifetime Achievement Hallway, named after the Kenneally family, in the Maroon Activities Center.

Kenneally said the gift “will help fund the successful future of Butte Central Catholic education.”

The foundation will provide Butte Central schools $100,000 a year for 10 years, according to a news release.

Kenneally Sr. said the gift will create three separate funds:

-Tom and Mary Ann Kenneally Excellence Fund, “to be used by

faculty and staff to fund solutions that encourage and reward innovation in the pursuit of excellence in education”

- Kenneally Family Town Pump Scholarship Fund, “to provide assistance to families in need of tuition support”

- Kenneally Family Faculty Fund, “to improve faculty salaries and benefits to attract and retain outstanding educators.”

“For more than 100 years Butte Central has provided a quality, Catholic-based education rich in values and tradition,” he told a large crowd of Central staff, faculty and other supporters. “Mary and I and our family appreciate the quality education Catholic schools have provided. The values that Butte Central reflects and promotes have greatly impacted not only our lives but the lives of future generations. This is a tradition we feel strongly about upholding.”

Don Peoples Jr., development director of the Butte Central Foundation, called the news “tremendous.

“We are just honored and blessed to be remembered by the Kenneallys and the Town Pump Charitable Foundation,” he said Thursday night.

He said the money will have a huge impact on the schools’ future.

“We have many challenges to provide scholarships and adequate salaries for our outstanding teachers,” he said.

The excellence fund, for example, will directly affect the classrooms.

“That particular fund will use our faculty and administrators to come up with ideas for technological needs, new books, Smart Boards ... anything that will really enhance what our teachers are doing in the classroom.”

Four-hundred students are enrolled in Butte’s Catholic school system, which is preschool through 12th grade. There are 32 faculty members and 41 additional people who help with extracurricular and other activities, Peoples said.

Tom and Mary Ann Kenneally founded Town Pump Inc. in 1953. Town Pump now operates in 55 cities across Montana, in a variety of businesses, including convenience stores, hotels, casinos and car washes. It employs over 3,000 statewide, including about 500 in the Butte area.

“Thank you for all you have done – and what you will continue to do – to help shape the spirited future for ourselves, for our children and for the generations to come,” Kenneally Sr. told the Central crowd.

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