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Anonymous donors gift saves St. James the Greater school from closing

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI)-The doors to St. James the Greater Catholic Elementary School get to stay open after all.

It took the work of some dedicated parents, a supportive community and an anonymous donor to rescue what many refer to as a staple of the Dogtown neighborhood.

"We're going to be open, we are going to register new students," said Melissa Cobb, who along with several other parents attended the school as a child.

"There is a generational legacy with our families," said dad of three, Scott Lanemann.

The catholic school which is part of the Archdiocese of St. Louis was on the brink of closing down.

"It was financial," explained Cobb, "they've been gracious enough to give us a grant over the past three years but couldn't afford to keep us afloat forever."

The moms and dads who were determined to keep the school open, took matters into their own hands and started a group called 'Keep St. James.'

"We did a pledge drive, we did a dining out, we did hot chocolate stands, we did a lot of fundraisers," explained Cobb.

The group's original goal was $500,000, but now that's changed to $600, 000 with a matching grant.

An anonymous donor offered the $300,000 matching grant. The group has raised close to $240,000 in pledges.

"For every $1,500 that we raise we will be matched dollar for dollar up to $300,000," Cobb explained.

"We felt it was worth fighting for."

The money that the group has raised and will continue raising will get them through the 2017-18 school year. The group said that the school is poised to stay open beyond that. The group is also having an auction dinner at That's Amore Feb. 11.

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