Chesterton Academy Students Partnering with Local Businesses Through "Think Local, Shop Local" Initiative


MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota - (February 28, 2013) - In honor of the entrepreneurial spirit, Chesterton Academy is highlighting local businesses at its fundraising gala, April 13. Students of this new, independent high school are soliciting donations from local and family-owned businesses to give away as prizes at the annual dinner, which takes place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown St. Paul. More than 600 guests are expected.

Chesterton Academy, located just three block south of the 50th and France business district in Edina, Minn., was founded by two entrepreneurial business leaders -- Dale Ahlquist, president of the American Chesterton Society, and Tom Bengtson, president of NFR Communications, Inc., a business-to-business publisher. The school's classical curriculum encourages students to approach problems with an entrepreneurial spirit. Since the school opened in 2008, the students have launched a summer camp for kids, run a hot lunch program, planned and produced several school events such as dances, theatrical productions and talent shows, and raised thousands of dollars for charity and scholarships.

"In addition to offering a rigorous academic curriculum, we seek to prepare our students to enter adult life with problem-solving acumen built on real-life experiences here at Chesterton Academy," said Headmaster John Niemann. "This is a school where we all figure out how to do a lot with a little, how to make the most of community assets, and how to collaborate on initiatives -- like our annual gala -- which impact our students, their families and the community."

G.K. Chesterton, the early 20th century author who serves as the patron of the school, advocated an economy based on local, family-based businesses that offer authentic value. Today, Chesterton Academy encourages partnerships with surrounding businesses and other organizations that uphold the human dignity of an honest day's work with superior products, sincere customer service, and genuine love of neighbor.

Last fall, the Cardinal Newman Society named Chesterton Academy one of the Top 50 Catholic high schools in the United States.

To donate a gift certificate or other item to the Chesterton Academy gala, please call the school at 952-379-1779. For further information on the Chesterton Gala and to purchase tickets online, visit