April 10, 2021

Good morning! I’m Aric Laubenthal!

I’m Jack Snyder!

And I’m Reese Rosenmeyer! You’re listening to the “Bear Facts”, the weekly radio show from Bishop Garrigan High School.

This weekend is the thirty-second annual Gala celebration at Bishop Garrigan. Ever since 1990 Gala has been the school’s biggest fundraiser, bringing in more than $7,173,000 dollars over the years. The very first Gala netted just $85,000 in income, but in the years before the pandemic, the event brought in around $400,000 a year.

Because of COVID, Gala is virtual for the second straight year in 2021. The whole auction is online, but there are a lot more personal elements than there were last year. For instance, the Gala meal is back, though this year it’s being done by drive-through pick-up rather than table service. Guests have a choice of cheese-stuffed chicken breast or beef tenderloin with brandy cream. Both are accompanied by red jacket potatoes, honey glazed carrots, buttered dinner rolls, and a salted caramel chocolate tart.

There’s a special preview of the auction items before the big event. The new gym will be open from 4:30 to 6:30 tonight, and guests can walk through to see what items are available. Social distancing and masks are required. The meal pick-up will be from 5:30 – 7pm, and in-person games like the Chest of Chance, 50/50, and the wine pull will be available during both events. The main auction will be available online through 9:00 tonight, and updates will be provided over YouTube and Facebook Live.

Next week we’ll get to show off the results of another big fundraiser from a few years ago. Back around the time this year’s seniors were freshmen, Bishop Garrigan raised money to improve the track that had surrounded our football field for sixty years. The track was finished during our sophomore year, and we were scheduled to use it in competition last year. Unfortunately the pandemic put a kink into those plans, since there was no track season at all in 2020.

The new composite track replaces an old dirt track that could not be used for modern competitions. The track team has been practicing on the new track ever since the 2021 season started, and next Friday we’ll break it in with the first competition. In the past Garrigan has always used the Algona High track for our home meets, but Friday the girls team will host the BGHS Relays right here at Bishop Garrigan.

In addition to the new track, we’ll be using a new state-of-the-art timing system at the girls meet. Both the track and the timing system were the result of major donations made by numerous friends of the school. We want to say a special thank-you to all the supporters who helped to make the new track possible.

The school board and administration at Garrigan recently decided to modify requirements based on the rapid drop in COVID cases and the increasing vaccination rate in our area. While we had a lot of COVID cases at school last fall, it’s been months since either a student or teacher was sick. The main change is that masks are no longer required when people are briefly passing in hallways. They will still be used in places like at mass and on buses—when people can’t social distance and are together for an extended time. We’re glad for the change. It’s a sign things are headed in the right direction.

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Amanda Thilges and Amber Hackett. Here to tell you about them is Joey Trainer.

Amanda Thilges is active in choir. She also works hard as the stage crew manager for plays and musicals at Bishop Garrigan. She’s in cross-country, and over the years her activities have also included speech and DECA. Amanda plans to attend UNI next year, where she’ll be majoring in business.

Amber Hacket is the newest member of the Class of 2021. She joined our class when she came to Garrigan after moving to Algona just this year. We’ve been glad to have Amber as a classmate, and we wish her all the best when she returns to Kansas after high school. Best wishes to both Amber and Amanda!

Thanks, Joey! On this week’s Golden Bear calendar, tonight is Gala 2021. The preview is at 4:30, with drive-through meals available from 5:30 to 7:00. Online bidding goes on all evening.

All next week Garrigan students will be taking the Iowa Assessments. This year that testing will be done online instead of on paper. Monday night there’s a coed golf meet with Forest City and North Union at Armstrong.

Tuesday the girls track team runs at Algona. We’ll have mass Wednesday morning, with the whole school together at St. Cecelia’s. There’s an early dismissal Wednesday afternoon, and that night the staff has faith formation.

The school board meets on Thursday. There’s boys track that night at Lake Mills. Friday the girls track hosts their home meet at Garrigan. The boys run at Estherville Friday night, and there’s also a coed golf triangular with North Iowa at Garner.

That’s the “Bear Facts” for this week. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to tune in again next week for more Bishop Garrigan News.