Kevin Killeen @KMOXKilleen

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Residents of St. James the Greater Parish in Dogtown face a mid-January deadline to raise enough money to keep their grade school open.

The Archdiocese has accepted a plan to merge St. James the Greater and Our Lady of Sorrows into St. Joan of Arch next school year, because of declining enrollment.

St. James parent Becky Bailey says they are trying to raise $250,000 by January 17 to stay open. She says so far they’ve raised $120,000 in donations and pledges.

Parent Becky Bailey hoping for donations large and small to save school.

Parent Becky Bailey hopes for donations large and small to save school.

“It’s important to keep this school open and in this area in Dogtown,” Bailey said, “We feel it’s important to have an Irish heritage Catholic school in the city, because if we close there won’t be one anymore.”

Parish parents are organizing an Irish Jig fundraising challenge, similar to the ice water challenge.

“It’s an Irish Jig for St. James,” Bailey said, “and so, you basically do a jig and video tape it, and challenge other people to do the jig as well. And if they don’t want to do it, they can donate on the GoFundMe page on Facebook.”

Bailey says efforts are also underway to court wealthy donors who could potentially make a large donation to save the school.

The group is forming a 5013c to make donations tax deductible, Bailey said.

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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