The Bear Facts
April 7, 2018


Good morning! I’m Ashlyn Harrington!

I’m Gabe Trainer!

And I’m Laurel Degen! Welcome to a special episode of the “Bear Facts”, where we’re taking a break from the winter weather and celebrating Gala 2018 here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

2018 is the 29th year for Gala, the biggest fundraiser each year at Garrigan. The first year we had Gala the event brought in $85,000. It’s gone up steadily since then, though, and last year’s proceeds were $391,000. We’re hoping 2018 is another big year. This year’s theme is “Big Apple: Start Spreading the News”, and Friedmann Auditorium is decked out to look like one of the most elegant ballrooms in New York.

One of the biggest parts of Gala each year is the meal, which is provided by one of the finest caterers in the Twin Cities. This year guests will begin with appetizers including miniature Reuben sandwiches, Brooklyn bagel bites, and New York hot dogs. The main meal will begin with cheddar ale bisque with a pretzel breadstick, and then there’s Big Apple salad with candied pecans.

For the main course guests will enjoy roast tenderloin of pork with apple chutney. On the side are dauphinoise (dough-fan-WOZZ) potatoes and roasted asparagus. Finally they’ll feast on an elegant black tie dessert with raspberry coulis (coo-LEE). Drinks and rolls are provided throughout the night, and it should be a sumptuous meal.

The main part of the evening is the auction, and there’s a wide range of items guests can bid on. There’s practical things like water softener and agricultural spraying services, expensive items like a $17,000 Snap-On tool box or $4,000 worth of Lasik eye surgery, and lots of gift certificates, dinners, and parties. There’s a customized basketball hoop, an enormous play house, diamond earrings, and a hammock. All together there’s hundreds of live and silent auction items—some of which will be a bargain and others that will go for thousands of dollars each.

A new tradition that started last year is “Pick Your Passion”, where teachers make requests for special items they’d like to have in their classrooms or activities. There’s 100 wishes at all price points that can help out kids at Garrigan and Seton. One of those wishes is for us here at the “Bear Facts”—a new digital recorder that will help with the sound quality for our show. We hope that and all the other “Pick Your Passion” items get a sponsor.

There’s literally hundreds of people who help to make Gala a big success each year. Three couples—John and Meredith Reding, Aaron and Tricia Greteman, and Zeb and Katie Besch—are at the center of organizing everything. Dozens of other adults work with construction, meal planning, publicity, decorations, and gift gathering parties. At Gala itself more than fifty students work as waiters and valets, while adults serve as bartenders, auction spotters, and cleaners. Thanks to everyone who helps out to make Gala a huge success every year!

Last month the Golden Bear quiz bowl team competed in the Iowa State University online virtual quiz. We had a sense at the time that the Bears did well, but it turned out they did really well. Garrigan’s score of 558 placed them second out of 30 teams from all over the Midwest. Only Davenport Central scored higher, and the Bears’ score was eighty points more than any other team in our area. Congratulations, quiz bowl!

There’s more quiz bowl action today. Bishop Garrigan is competing in the Iowa Quiz Bowl League state championship in Waukee. The event is classed, and Garrigan should be one of the top teams in the small school division. Seniors Ben Degen, Trevor Darling, Tommy Kollasch, and Will Eggers will be competing for the Bears, together with junior Sami Darling, sophomore Alex Mammen and Grant Bormann, and freshman Aric Laubenthal. Good luck to Coach David Burrow and the quiz bowl team.

Next Wednesday we’ll have our annual field trip day here at Garrigan. While the freshmen will have a class retreat, the sophomores, juniors, and seniors will go on special field trips. The seniors will be exploring religious sites—including a Hindu temple, a mosque, and a synagogue. The juniors will see government-related sites such as the state capitol and Supreme Court building, and the sophomores will visit places associated with science. This is always a fun day, and there’s a lot of learning that goes on, too.

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Lexi Berte. Here to tell you about her is John Meis.

Lexi Berte’s biggest activity over the years has probably been FFA, where she’s been a district officer in that organization. She’s also active in cross-country and trap-shooting. Lexi challenges herself with some of the toughest classes in school, and she always gets top grades. She plans to major in animal science at Iowa State next year, and we wish her all the best in the future.

Thanks, John. On our Golden Bear calendar this week there’s quiz bowl today at Waukee, and tonight is Gala 2018. If the weather warms up, then Monday there will be golf with Garner and North Iowa and also boys track at Ft. Dodge.

Also on Monday night there will be a recognition of freshman girls from the American Association of University Women. Tuesday the sophomores will have a career day at Iowa Lakes, and that night there’s girls track scheduled at Algona High.

Wednesday the freshmen have a retreat. The sophomores, juniors, and seniors will take field trips around central Iowa. There’s an early dismissal that day, and that night there’s a junior high band concert.

Thursday there’s golf scheduled at Forest City and boys track at Lake Mills. Next Friday the boys track team is scheduled to run at Estherville, and the girls are hosting the BGHS relays at Algona High.

That’s the “Bear Facts” for Gala week. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to tune in again next week for more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.