The Bear Facts

April 10, 2010

Good morning! I'm Taylor Brandenburg!

And I'm Katrina Even! Welcome to a special episode of the "Bear Facts", where we're celebrating Gala here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

None of the current Garrigan students was even born when Gala began back in 1990. Twenty years later Gala has become a community tradition as well as the biggest fundraiser for the Bishop Garrigan schools. Over the years Gala-goers have contributed three and a half million dollars to support Catholic education. This year three hundred sixty guests will be on hand for "Zen Gala 2010". They'll go on a they bid on items in the live and silent auctions.

For most people the highlight of Gala is the dinner, which is one of the nicest meals you'll ever find in the rural Midwest. This year's multi-course affair begins with trays of appetizers shrimp toast, chicken pot stickers, and California sushi rolls. Dinner itself features yin-yang soup-which is a combination of tomato, lemon, ginger, pea, basil, and coconut flavors-and Korean salad with spinach, romaine, bacon, peapods, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, frizzles, and Asian dressing. The salad will be served in classic Chinese take-out boxes.

The evening's main course is a sticky glazed tenderloin of pork. On the side will be garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed baby carrots, baby corn, and peapods. Topping off the dinner is a lemongrass parfait with caramelized pineapple. The dinner will be served by more than two dozen waiters and waitresses, all of whom are current students at Garrigan.

The waiters are only part of those who make Gala run smoothly each year. For every guest who attends, there's someone helping out behind the scenes. A huge committee plans the event, and an army of student and adult volunteers helps transform the gym into a gorgeous ballroom. Volunteers also work as spotters for the auction, as entertainers, as valets, and as clerks. More people help clean up after the big event. In addition, throughout the year dozens of people host gift-gathering parties to acquire items that will be bid on. We want to thank everyone who helps make Gala a huge success each year.

Gala is just one of the many ways people can help our school. In recent years one of the biggest support programs has been Scrip. People can buy gift cards through scrip, with a percentage of each purchase either going toward their own family's tuition or to help with tuition assistance in general. Earlier this year, the Garrigan scrip team went over the eight million dollar mark in sales, and by using scrip to buy things they would have gotten anyway people have earned more than $360,000 for the school. Thanks to the businesses who participate in the scrip program and to all the people who use scrip for their purchases.

Spring sports have begun. You won't find many people at Garrigan who will say track is their favorite sport, but the Bears have been very good at it over the years. This year the Golden Bear boys have ten letterwinners returning to their team, most of whom have experience running at state. Seniors David Reding, Nick Kellner, Brett Capesius, and Austin Wolf will be at the core of the team, as will juniors Jacob Behr, Drew Magill, and Kevin Elbert. Other letterwinners include sophomores Daniel Gelhaus, Grant Reding, and Alex Boisjolie. Good luck to Coach Marty Wadle and the boys track team!

On the girls side, Coach Greg Ahlers has nineteen returning letterwinners. Among them seniors Mackenzie Schindler and Alyse Meyers and sophomores Addison Miller and Mallory Bormann have run at state before. Other letterwinners include seniors Kelly Klein and Amy Rasmussen; juniors Katie Miller, McKayla Loss, Nora Krahenbuhl, Alicia Richter, Anna Kollasch, Aimee Dahlhauser, and Brittany Brandt; and sophomores Emily Bell, Bethany Capesius, Shelby Schindler, Lizzy Hohmeister, and Abbey Reding . The Bears are also expecting good things out of freshman Erin Reedy, who placed in the state cross-country meet last fall. Good luck, girls track!

The golf teams both went to state last year, and they're hoping for more success in 2010. The girls golf team returns letterwinners Kelsie Berke, Sheridan Berte, and Laura Richter; while the boys return Bryan Berte, Mike Mergen, Andrew Schiltz, Brandon Doughan, and Jordan Springer. Good luck to Coach Dean Capesius and the Golden Bear golf teams!

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Tina Berte. Here to tell you about him/her is Rebeccah Erdman.

Tina Berte is one of the students who will be working as a waitress at Gala tonight. Her biggest activity at Garrigan over the years has been dance. She helped lead the Golden Bear danz squad to nationals, and she was part of the All-Iowa Honor Drill Team that performed in Des Moines last month. Over the years she's also been involved in music and various service projects. Tina will be off to college next year, and we wish her all the best in the future.

Thanks, Rebeccah! On this week's Golden Bear calendar, there's ACT testing this morning, and tonight is Gala 2010. Workers will start showing up mid-afternoon, and we'll have mass in the school chapel at 4pm.

Next Tuesday is the North Central Conference Art Show, which this year will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Algona. Tuesday night there's girls golf at Clear Lake, boys golf at Humboldt, boys track at Iowa Falls, and girls track at Algona High.

Wednesday there will be an immunization clinic at Garrigan. Thursday we'll have mass at St. Cecelia's, and that night the boys track team runs at Lake Mills.

Next Friday the girls track team will host the Bishop Garrigan Relays and the golf teams will play Algona High. Also on Friday the boys golf team runs at Estherville. Finally next Saturday Garrigan will be hosting the state solo and ensemble music contest.

That's the "Bear Facts" for this week. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to tune in again next week for more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.

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