The Bear Facts ... April 14, 2007

Good morning! I'm Lee Brashear!

And I'm Colby Krieps! Welcome back to the "Bear Facts", where we're celebrating Gala 2007 here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

Gala is by far the biggest annual fundraiser for the Bishop Garrigan schools. The event got started in 1990, and even that first year it brought in $85,000. Since then the event has gotten more elaborate, with everything centered around a theme. Some of the past themes include "An Evening on the Mississippi", "Gala International", "A Tropical Evening in Paradise", "A Heavenly Celebration", and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame". Proceeds vary from year to year, but the general trend has been upward. We're hoping that this year we'll break the record set in 2004 and take in more than $219,000 at Gala.

This year Gala goes "Down Under" with an Australian theme. While the bartenders and valets will be in outback garb, the waiters will still be dressed up in black tie elegance. One of the focal points of the evening is the dinner, which begins with hors d'oeuvres like chili shrimp, chicken and shitake mushroom dumplings, and bacon and cheese toasties. That's followed by cauliflower soup with white truffle salsa, Asian outback salad, and tenderloin of pork with sticky glaze and pineapple salsa. On the side guests will enjoy coconut basil rice, a vegetable mélange, and rolls with butter. There's complimentary table wine, and dessert is a tart with passionfruit, kiwi, and raspberry coulis, chocolate, and coffee.

Throughout the night Gala guests have the opportunity to buy gifts, win prizes, and part with their money to help out the school. The games include a "First Chance" raffle to win $2,500 and a big car raffle to win a vehicle donated by Kemna Auto Center, Motor Inn, or Elbert's Chevrolet. There's also a recreation offer with a $5,000 prize valid at Algona Marine and Sport, Miller Sports and Service, or American Marine. The Key Club offers a 42-inch plasma TV as its prize, and the Last Chance prize is a trip to the land down under. There's also the Chest of Chance and Half Chance raffles for more opportunities to win big prizes.

Then, of course, there's the auction-which is where most of the Gala money is taken in. There are silent auctions for items less than $200 in value, but the big event is the live auction. There are tons of goods and services available-from furniture and electronics to theme parties to farm tiling to sports memorabilia. Some of the biggest bidding often goes for reserved seats at sports events and naming the drive by the Garrigan gym, things that basically cost nothing but are truly priceless.

It takes a lot of people to make Gala a success. Dozens of adults have been working on committees throughout the year, and this past week many art students have worked to get the decorations just right. Forty-nine different students will be working on Gala night as well. Greeting guests when the arrive are valets Anna Bormann, Brent Kajewski, Ben Berte, Ben Marso, Josh Berte, Chase Reding, and John Parrish. Cindy Reding and Tony Rouse are the official indoor greeters, while Garrison Brosnan and Chris Loebach will officially announce each guest in an Aussie outback accent.

Jacob Zittritsch and Brandi Roethler are helping with technical details, and Emily Behr and Macy Fickbohm are the official Gala photographers. Once guests enter the dining room, Scott Kollasch, Stephanie Fox, Meredith Meyers, Brian Capesius, Andrea Richter, Logan Wood, Melanie Myers, Dustin Tindall, Cassie Vautier, Josh Rahm, Carrie Courtney, and Nick Reding will all be serving hors d'oeuvres.

Most of the student workers serve as waiters. Besides those we've already mentioned, the waiters include Caryn Taphorn, Bridget Murphy, D.J. Thompson, Joe Dailey, Brian Funk, Becca Kramer, Megan Boever, Melissa Cruise, Brian Patterson, Kendra Plathe, and Ashli Krieps; as well as Tyler Rowley, Stephanie Kollasch, Sheri Kenyon, Gina Rasmussen, Michelle Kollasch, Christopher Schmidt, Bella Alfons, Casey Arndorfer, Kory Wieland, Ashley Beisch, Alex Dodds, Megan Hilbert, Danielle Rahm, and Mandy Kohlhaas. Mary McCall and David Burrow have been in charge of student workers throughout the eighteen years Gala has been in existence.

Our Senior spotlight this week shines on Stephanie Fox. Here to tell you all about her is Ashli Krieps.

Stephanie Fox is one of those Gala workers we mentioned earlier. At school her biggest activity is probably publications, where she serves as editor of the Garrigold yearbook and Garrigan's contributions to the student pages of the Algona Upper Des Moines. She's a big sports fan, and when she's not at school, you might see Steph working at the Innovations Salon and Spa. Next year she plans to attend UNI, and we wish Stephanie all the best in the future.

Thanks, Ashli! On our Golden Bear calendar this week, there's ACT testing this morning at Algona High School. Then tonight is the big Gala celebration. The doors open at 5:30, and dinner and the auction start at 7:30. The evening should end between 10:30 and 11pm.

Tomorrow is the CYO track meet in Fort Dodge. Then on Monday the girls golf team plays at West Bend Mallard and the boys have a triangular at Twin River Valley. Also Monday the girls track team will make up the Hannover Relays that were postponed by snow last week.

Tuesday the school board meets. Also that night there's girls track at Garner. Then on Wednesday the speech team will hold their awards potluck.

Thursday the 19th the quiz bowl team will participate in the semi-annual Knowledge Master competition. Then on Friday the golf teams have triangulars with Hampton Dumont and Clarion Goldfield, there's girls track at Estherville, and the boys track team runs at Pocahontas.

Finally next Saturday the girls golf team hosts their invitational at Spring Valley and the boys play at the Algona Invitational. Also next Saturday there's the state math competition in Iowa City.

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.

Return to ...

"Bear Facts" Home Page