(and only 2 weeks until Christmas!)

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'Miracles for Maddie' Update

Last week, the Aquin Servant Leaders sent a 'Stay Warm' package to Maddie Thompson. The package included a hand-made quilt, hot chocolate, movie, book and puzzles. They received this message and picture yesterday from Mrs. Schirmer:

"Katra (Maddie's mom) is thankful for the prayers and support beyond words. Maddie is doing amazingly well! Her balance has been affected so she wears leg braces which have enabled her to walk alone and climb stairs (with a handrail). She is wobbly but still moving :)

Her eye surgery went well although it will be a couple months before they know how successful it was. She has five more months of chemo and has been tolerating it well."

Please keep Maddie in your prayers as she is in need of a blood transfusion today. There still is a long battle ahead for this little girl. Support the 2 projects listed below and all donations will go directly to support Maddie.

'Ugly Christmas Sweater Jean Day'

Can you be as creative and beautiful as Mrs. Flynn was last year?!!!

It's Back at Both Campuses--earn the privilege of wearing your 'ugly Christmas sweater' with jeans by donating $3 per student at the high school campus or $1 at St. Joe's campus. If you don't have an 'ugly Christmas sweater' you may wear a decorated Christmas t-shirt with some extra embellishments. Be creative--and be sure the shirt follows all 'jean day' dress rules.

Beltline will be judging the Ugly Christmas Sweaters and will have a prize for the winners (thank you Beltline)!
Donations will go to the Servant Leaders' Miracles for Maddie.

December 13 and 20!

The Aquin Servant Leaders will be waiting for your unwrapped gifts to arrive this Sunday and next at the High School Campus. Bring them in the gym lobby doors and they'll take it from there. They'll wrap your gifts while you wait--and even have some refreshments and festive music for you. All they ask in return is a donation 'Miracles for Maddie'.

Stop by from 10:30-1:30 on either Sunday--click here to print a flier to post at work or share to your Facebook page!

It's Tourney Time!

If you checked the web calendar this morning, you would see that the Aquin Basketball Teams are all in Tourneys starting today and tomorrow. Schedules are posted, but here's a run-down of where are teams will be playing:
  • 5-6th Blue Jay Boys . Immanuel Lutheran Tourney in Freeport
  • 7-8th Blue Jay Boys . Stephenson County Tourney in Lena
  • Fresh-Soph Bulldog Girls . Eastland Tourney in Lanark
  • Fresh-Soph Bulldog Boys . Aquin Tourney at Aquin
  • Varsity Bulldog Girls . Pearl City Tourney in Pearl City
  • Varsity Bulldog Boys . Forreston Tourney in Forreston

Good Luck to the Jays and Dawgs!

(Note--due to many conflicts, CBA for this weekend has been cancelled.)

Last-Minute Shopping Ideas!

As we are 2 weeks away from Christmas--and you may still need some gift ideas--don't forget Aquin when making your lists:
  • Spirit Shop for anything 'Aquin'--open during school hours and Tuesday (12.15 from 6-7:30) night and Sunday (12.20 from 11:30-1:30) or email
  • Scrip--gift cards from hundreds of retailers and restaurants
  • Adesse--a gift that gives all year-long!
  • Amazon Smile--1% of all your purchases comes back to Aquin. Just enter here,, and then designate 'Aquin Catholic Schools' as your beneficiary!
  • BACKIN AQUIN--gift a spirit pack to someone so they can enjoy all the fun and 'fan'dom of Aquin Bulldog Basketball in January and February
  • Pay It Forward--make a donation in someone's name to Aquin's Guardian Angel Fund and help those in need of tuition assistance--or if you know of a family in need at Aquin, make a direct donation to their tuition account
  • Smugmug--a picture is worth a 1000 words, so shop the 1000s and 1000s of photos on our photo website and then purchase prints, products or downloads to make your own priceless
  • Guardian of the Shield--it's never too late to become a Guardian and help protect the Bulldogs and Blue Jays--or gift one to someone on your list! Click here for all the details!

Website Outage Update

Last night, I received the following notice from Faithwebsites, Aquin's website host, regarding yesterday's outage. Very grateful for their willingness to share this information--as well as the service and protection they provide for all of our data. We use them for our website, as well as our alumni database and previously for our Extravaganza donation database. Prayers to them that a long-term solution comes to them soon.

You may have noticed an interruption to your DIS | Faithwebsites services this afternoon. Fortunately, at the time of writing this email, all services have been fully restored. However, we want to be transparent with you about the nature of this outage and how it may affect your services until we have a longterm solution in place.

DIS | Faithwebsites has been the victim of a Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS), or Denial of Service Attack. DDoS attacks are when a criminal targets a server or group of servers or network, and then works to overload the server so that it literally grinds to a halt. It is inoperative and sites and applications go down with it.

We have teams of experts monitoring our services and helping us determine the best longterm solution for preventing these attacks. These teams consist not just of our own DIS team, but also a team of DDoS mitigation specialists from our cloud hosting provider. However, until a longterm solution is in place, another interruption of services is possible.

What you do need to know is that your content – websites, database content, curriculum data, donor data and auction data – all of it – is safe. This is not a hacking type of attack where they work to gain access to your content. And even if that was – the great thing is that our firewall and other securities are in place and working well. And remember, all your data is backed up nightly and that data is moved to a totally different physical storage space, another added security for your data.

We know that this is not the service you expect from DIS and we profoundly apologize. We have securities in place, but as these criminals become more sophisticated in their attack and attack methods, those securities are breached. DDoS attacks are not uncommon. In fact, they have hit record numbers in 2015. Sony's Playstation Network, Hootsuite,, and are just a few of the multitude of companies, both big and small, who have been victims of such attacks.

We are still battling the DDoS attack. We will post updates on our Facebook and Twitter feeds as we have updates. We value your business, and most of all we value all the words of encouragement and support many of you have extended our way. We are working tirelessly to give you the service that you expect from DIS | Faithwebsites and we truly appreciate your patience and grace as we fully resolve this issue.


the DIS | Faithwebsites team