Faths get Springer $400K shy of goal

Cincinnati philanthropists Harry and Linda Fath have pledged $3 million to Springer School and Center in Hyde Park, hoping to leverage a final $400,000 in giving to help the school hit its $15 million capital fundraising goal.

Harry and Linda Fath

“It’s brutal to be in a class and you can’t do the work, and you feel like an idiot,” said Harry Fath, sharing a perspective on the struggles that come from inadequate education for children who learn differently.

For 50 years, Springer has helped students with learning disabilities. Springer offers a school for students aged 6-14 and outreach programs and learning disability resources for students, parents and teachers in the Greater Cincinnati area.

The Fath’s gift is a matching pledge in support of Springer’s capital campaign, Advancing Success, launched on the heels of the organization’s 50th anniversary. 

In a video plea to supporters, Fath speaks to Springer’s meaningful impact.

“A place like this can save a kid’s life,” he said.

Leading the campaign are Springer board members Matthew Gockerman, Thomas Leugers and Peter

Niehoff. 

Through their efforts, more than 150 patrons have contributed to the campaign, led by a $4 million gift from an anonymous donor.

Advancing Success will expand Springer’s ability to serve the region through three key initiatives: financial aid for students who can’t afford specialized education; new learning spaces; and expansion of the school’s outreach beyond the school.

The Faths owns Fath Properties, a Cincinnati company that manages 8,000 apartment units in buildings throughout Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, and Texas. He is also a minority owner of the Cincinnati Reds.

The Faths have appeared on the Philanthropy 50, the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual ranking of the nation’s 50 top donors, three times. The Cincinnati couple have focused much of their charitable giving in recent years to Mercy Ships, a nonprofit that uses ships to deliver free health care to people in need in Africa. A 2021 $50 million gift followed a $50 million gift in 2018 to build the Global Mercy, the world’s largest nongovernmental hospital ship. The Faths first appeared on the Philanthropy 50 in 2017 with a $50 million gift to the Lindner Center of Hope. In 2018, their giving tallied $100 million between the Cincinnati Zoo and Mercy Ships. In 2021, they appeared again at $100 million with the gift to Mercy Ships and $50 million to the University of Notre Dame. Earlier this year, the Faths committed $50 million to Harry Fath’s alma mater St. Xavier High School, the largest gift in St. Xavier’s history and the lead gift for the school’s $200 million 200-year anniversary campaign.

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