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Believing in the Value of Catholic Education

Mike and Rosie Houk

Mike and Rosie Houk

Cathedral High School is fast approaching its 100-year anniversary. The school has been located in the heart of Indianapolis since 1918 and in the hearts of its graduates ever since. For Mike and Rosie Houk, this special school has been part of their lives for more than 50 years. Mike is a graduate of the class of 1962; Rosie graduated from one of Cathedral's "sister" all-girls academies, St. Agnes, in 1963. In addition, Rosie ran the front desk at Cathedral for 15 years. Now, they continue to share their love of Cathedral through support of a special tuition assistance program called Shamrock Scholars.

When they retired, the Houks set up a family foundation to give to causes they believe strongly in. One of those causes is Cathedral High School. The Houks choose to support Cathedral by providing tuition for one student for all four years of school. The Shamrock Scholar program matches a student with a donor and provides the opportunity for donors to create a relationship that oftentimes extends far beyond high school.

"We went here. Our kids went here," says Mike. "It is just a continuing of the circle. We believe in Cathedral and in Catholic education. Now, we can help someone else have those same experiences and feelings."

"We have watched the cost of Catholic education increase over the years," Rosie says. "We thought about Catholic education and how the same opportunities may not be available for some very deserving students. If our foundation was not there, these kids would not be exposed to the benefits of a Cathedral education.

"It is an investment in our future and in their future—and in the future of the Indianapolis community in general," Mike says. "This is something that we have been blessed by God to be able to do."

For more information on setting up a family foundation like the Houks or supporting the Shamrock Scholars program at Cathedral, contact Abbe Ernstes at (317) 968-7348 or

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Cathedral High School a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Cathedral High School, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 5225 East 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46226, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Cathedral or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Cathedral as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Cathedral as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Cathedral where you agree to make a gift to Cathedral and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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