Father Matheny Donates Game Show Winnings to His Alma Mater, St. Francis of Assisi in St. Albans

Courtesy Photo
With the $120,000 check Father Bill Matheny, second from left, presented to his alma mater, St. Francis of Assisi School in St. Albans, are: Bob Matheny, Father Matheny’s brother and “Plus One” on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, who helped him with the $250,000 question, and a parishioner at Ascension Parish in Hurricane; Father Matheny; Father Pat McDonough, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in St. Albans; and Erin Sikora, principal of the school.

ST. ALBANS—St. Francis of Assisi School in St. Albans received a generous gift of $120,000 recently from Father Bill Matheny, who grew up in St. Albans and attended the school as a child. This past summer Father Matheny, who is now associate pastor of St. Michael Parish in Wheeling, was a contestant on the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” His intent for entering the show, he said, was to help his alma mata by donating his winnings to the school.
Father Matheny progressed through the show and successfully answered the $250,000 question. Rather than continue on to the $500,000 question, he stopped. Father Matheny said, “I did not want to risk the children’s money.”
Principal Erin Sikora said, “This is an amazing gift for our school. Father Matheny truly practices what he preaches.”
The school plans to use the money to purchase new technology devices.
“We have a blended learning environment where technology is key,” Sikora said. St. Francis students in upper grades are 1:1 with Chromebooks, while teachers in primary and preschool grades prefer iPads and computer centers. The gift will also help the school’s scholarship fund, Specialized Learning Program, salaries and children’s playground.
“Father Matheny,” Sikora said, “is truly a special person.”