28th annual fundraising gala Saturday for St. Theodore School

Published 11:02 am Thursday, April 4, 2024

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A night of fun and celebration is planned for Saturday during the Denim and Diamonds Fundraising Gala for St. Theodore School.

Doors open at 5:45 p.m. in the St. Theodore Marion Hall and gymnasium.

Susan Bartelt, a parent of three children who attend the school, said the silent auction will begin at 6 p.m., and a dinner and light dessert will start at 6:30 p.m., followed by a dessert auction and live auction.

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All of the desserts are from local bakers and grandmothers or mothers of students.

There will also be live music and several raffles, including a wine cork pull raffle for $20, a mystery box raffle for $15, a meat raffle for $20, a necklace raffle for $10 and a heads or tails interactive cash raffle for $10.

Bartelt said this is the 28th year for the event, which goes to support the school and help keep tuition affordable. A portion of the funds raised this year will go to support technology needs, such as new Smartboards and Chromebooks, because of the growing number of students attending.

She said four years ago student attendance at the school was in the 60s, while this year it is 92 and next year is projected at 100. With the increase, the school has had to hire more teachers.

“It’s so good to see that families are showing interest,” she said. “They do such a good job here.”

She said there are many benefits to the school, including affordable tuition and being able to provide faith-based learning to the students. The children attend mass every week and are able to get involved in that mass through speaking roles and other duties.

Another benefit of the school, Bartelt said, is parent and family involvement. The kitchen, for example, relies on volunteer servers, which parents, grandparents and community members gladly volunteer to do.

She said there is a requirement for volunteer hours for parents of children who attend, but those hours are easy to fill with the many day-to-day duties and also fundraisers the school has. Parents are also typically sought as chaperones for field trips

The school offers what they call PAKET Day (Parents and Kids Eat Together Day), where parents are able to come in and have lunch with their child one day a month.

They also have several fun opportunities for the students during Catholic Schools Week, with activities and a special dinner.

“It’s like a family here,” Bartelt said, noting that all of the teachers know all of the students, and the students look up to their teachers and principal.

She said their art classes are taught by local artist Steve Tubbs, a potter, who even does some pottery with the children. They also offer music and religion classes, as well as Spanish amongst all grades.

Class sizes are small with typically between a half dozen and a dozen students, depending on the situation and if more than one grade is under the direction of one teacher.

Tickets to the gala are available at the school office or by calling 507-373-9657. Reservations are required as the event sells out. As of Thursday morning, tickets for 16 out of 18 tables had already been sold.

Tickets are $55 per person.