St. Casmirs invites people to Celebrate with the Saints

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 1, 2008

WELLS &8212; Saint Casimir&8217;s Catholic School of Wells is planning a celebration and everyone&8217;s invited.

This Saturday, the doors to St.Casimir&8217;s School will open at 5 p.m. to support the only Catholic school in Faribault County. Celebrate with the Saints will be an evening of food and fundraising. Both a silent and live auction, along with a raffle drawing, will raise money to support this small Catholic school that has been open since 1915.

A dedicated team of organizers has been thinking about this year&8217;s celebration since last year&8217;s huge success.

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&8220;I am all excited about this year,&8221; said committee chairwoman Lori Stevermer. &8220;There were so many positive comments. Our hope is that we can have as much fun at this year&8217;s celebration!&8221;

The evening starts off with a supper of pork loin on a stick and pulled pork sandwiches prepared by experienced pork producers. Chips, baked beans, and homemade bars are also on the menu.

&8220;We have something that you&8217;ve never had at any other fundraiser,&8221; said Matt Zebro, &8220;a mashed potato martini bar. We thought it would be fun to try something new.&8221; Zebro attended a reception at an annual meeting earlier this year and thought that mashed potatoes in a martini glass was a fun way to serve the perennial favorite. &8220;Who doesn&8217;t like mashed potatoes?&8221; he added.

Zebro and his wife Shannon will be &8220;manning the bar&8221; where people will get their martini glass of mashed potatoes with their favorite toppings.

People can take a stroll down auction alley before they eat. Rows of tables laden with basket after basket of merchandise wait for people to write down bids. After supper, people can take another walk through to see if they&8217;ve been out-bid.

Celebrate with the Saints is truly a family affair. All parents of children enrolled at St. Casimir&8217;s are asked to provide items for the auctions. One enthusiastic grandmother has helped with the silent auction, collecting more than 60 items.

The teachers are also involved. Donna Sonnek, band instructor at St. Casimir&8217;s, had an original idea. &8220;Every once in a while, an adult will say, &8216;I wish I had learned to play an instrument when I was young.&8217; You don&8217;t have to be young to learn an instrument!&8221; explained Sonnek. &8220;It is always a good practice to try new activities to keep one&8217;s brain young and flexible.&8221; Sonnek will offer 10 lessons and Music Mart of Mankato will donate 10 weeks of instrument rental. Here is a chance to fulfill that childhood dream.

Carly and Joel Sonnek are new to school fundraising projects. Son Gavin is a first-grader at St. Casimir&8217;s. Joel helps prepare the hog and Carly is organizing auction items. &8220;I liked the idea of doing a big fundraiser,&8221; Joel said. &8220;We can make a bigger impact.&8221;

Carly&8217;s goal is to make the event flow seamlessly. &8220;I want Celebrate with the Saints to have a good reputation as an event that is done well.&8221;

Last year&8217;s feedback has encouraged

everyone to work even harder. Ann Schuster, new to the committee this year, remembers last year&8217;s celebration. &8220; I walked in and it was wow! Way more than I expected!&8221;

Kerry and Angie Doyle are working on the auction. Once again they have secured Marlin Krupp, auctioneer form Elmore, to call the live auction, beginning at 7 p.m. The Doyles have spent countless hours &8220;making lists and checking them twice.&8221;

&8220;We want to see Catholic education continue, that&8217;s No. 1. That&8217;s why we do it,&8221; Kerry said.

School supporters have come up with some unique items. Bid on an airplane ride, an afternoon relaxing with nine friends on a pontoon and supper grilled on the beach, front-row seats to a Twins&8217; game, horse-riding lessons, a personalized picnic table with handprints of all St. Casimir students, a shrimp boil for 12, homemade cookies, a split side of beef and more.

Of people&8217;s generosity, Principal Joanne Tibodeau said, &8220;I enjoy the opportunity to witness the generosity of so many that support quality Catholic education!&8221;

After the auction, there will be a raffle drawing. One thousand tickets were printed. Denny Koziolek, committee member, has been watching the sale closely. &8220;There are a few left, when they&8217;re gone, they&8217;re gone,&8221; eh saida.

Call St. Casimir&8217;s at (507) 553-5822 or contact a school family to purchase a ticket. The prizes are a big screen television, Nintendo Wii, a bundle of meat, garden bench for two and a mystery prize.

Almost 100 years ago, a group of dedicated people gathered to ask, &8220;What can we do to have a Catholic school?&8221; After years of hard work, St. Casimir&8217;s School opened its doors.

Continued years of dedication and sacrifice have kept the school open. The story doesn&8217;t end there.

In a more recent chapter of school history, written just last year, another group gathered to ask, &8220;What can we do to help our Catholic school?&8221;

Teresa Stevermer had an idea. She shared her vision with the committee and Celebrate with the Saints became a reality. &8220;What a tribute to the firm belief that we still want Catholic education in our community,&8221; Stevermer said. &8220;And our enthusiasm, that is a gift from God.&8221;