Helias Foundation Incorporated was formed in 1974 to provide financial support to Helias High School. Jim Rackers began his term in 1992 as the first executive director and he and held the position until his death in 2006.
Along with an executive director, the tax exempt non-profit foundation is governed by a Board of Directors with input from an Advisory Board.
The Helias Foundation generates revenue from the Annual Fund Drive, a golf tournament, Homecoming 5K race, and various other activities. Money is received from businesses, alumni, past parents, bequests, and other personal donors.
The Foundation regularly disperses funds directly to Helias High School and manages an endowment fund for future needs.
Helias High School History
Helias High School opened in September 1956. The previous four years had been spent raising $1 million to build this new school that would replace St. Peter High School, which shared buildings with the elementary school at Broadway and High streets. During the process of fundraising to build the school, the decision was made to name the school for the Rev. Ferdinand Helias, a Jesuit missionary from Belgium who came to central Missouri in 1838 to minister to German immigrants in and around Westphalia. He established missions in Rich Fountain, Jefferson City, Cedron, St. Thomas, Loose Creek, and Taos, which would become and would remain his home until his death in 1874. He died of a stroke outside the old St. Francis Xavier Church in Taos on August 11, 1874, on his way to ring the bell for the Angelus. Father Helias was instrumental in establishing seven Catholic churches in the area.
A student contest was held name the new Helias mascot. Of the more than 250 names submitted, the name Crusader was selected.
The winning entry was submitted by Jim DeLong, a freshman at St. Peter High School. A local newspaper story said DeLong suggested the name because Father Helias was a crusader for Catholic education and Pope Pius X, selected as the school's patron saint, was a crusader for frequent communion.
In the winter of 1955 the cornerstone was laid with about 300 in attendance. In the spring of 1956, the last graduating class of St. Peter High School said farewell to the school at 216 Broadway.
On August 26, 1956, an Open House was held at the new school. The program for the event said its total cost, including grounds, construction, architectural fees, ground improvements, and school equipment, was approximately $1,075,000. A total of 4,451 people attended the Open House.
Also in this year, a new diocese was formed, and Bishop Joseph Marling was installed in November to lead the new Jefferson City Catholic Diocese.
467 students were in attendance when the doors of Helias High School opened on September 4, 1956.
Taken from Fifty Years of Faith - A History of Helias High School and Proclaiming the Good News in the Heart of Missouri by Loretta Pastva, SND