The Bear Facts

March 25, 2006

Good morning! I'm Alex Elbert!

And I'm Robert K. Geelan! Welcome once again to the "Bear Facts". Thanks for joining us for all the latest news from Bishop Garrigan High School.

Right about now about a hundred Garrigan students are aboard a charter bus somewhere along Interstate 95 near Baltimore, Maryland. The group has already seen Gettysburg and Washington, D.C., and this morning they'll pass through Delaware and New Jersey on their way to the next big stop of the music trip, New York City. This afternoon they'll see the Metropolitan Museum of Art and then have dinner at Planet Hollywood in Times Square. Then tonight they'll attend a performance of Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running show in Broadway history.

Tomorrow the Garrigan choir will sing during mass at New York's Church of St. John the Baptist. They'll visit more New York attractions tomorrow and Monday, including Chinatown, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. They'll also attend a "Broadway Bound" workshop where they'll meet behind the scenes with a cast member. Then Monday they'll board the buses for the twenty-four hour trip back home. We expect to see them back around 3:00 Tuesday afternoon.

With the music people gone and special schedules for various reasons, this has been a pretty screwy week at Garrigan. The biggest day was probably Tuesday, when the new Bishop of the Sioux City Diocese came to visit. Bishop R. Walker Nickless said mass to students in the Garrigan gym, blessed the whole congregation, shook hands with everyone as we left, and then had lunch right here at Garrigan. Before he left, Bishop Nickless noticed the large painting of our school's namesake, Bishop Phillip Garrigan, that hangs in our main lobby. He said he hadn't realized until now that the cross he has worn since his ordination and the chalice he uses for communion are the same ones that Bishop Garrigan used a century ago. He chose both of those from a group of items other bishops had used, without knowing their history. The new Bishop said they made him feel a special connection to our school.

A month ago, when Garrigan hosted the district individual speech contest, junior Garrison Brosnan didn't want to perform his prose selection. It's good he did, because last weekend at state, Garry was among the very top performers. It turned out that both Garrison and his sister, Rebecca Brosnan were named Outstanding Performers and will perform at the All-State Speech Festival next month in Cedar Falls. For Garrison this will be the second All-State selection of the year, since he was also part of the Bears' all-state improvisation group. As a freshman, this is Rebecca's first trip to all-state, but we know she'll do a great job with her poetry reading, "The Charge of the Light Brigade".

The all-state nods were just two of eleven Division One ratings that Garrigan speech students received at state. Also earning "Excellent" ratings were Amanda Golwitzer in Prose and Storytelling; Anna Bormann in Poetry; Gavin Freking, Alex Elbert, and Shane Koob in Radio News Announcing; Dylan Freking in Literary Program; Chris Loebach in Improvisation; and Rebecca Brosnan in Acting. In addition five students-JoAnn Kirsch, Joe Dailey, Kendra Plathe, Jenna Richter, and Sam Norland-earned Division Two (or "Good") ratings. Congratulations to the individual speech performers and to coaches Mary McCall and Sarah Freking.

Gala is just around the corner. The carpet is already down in the gym, and both student and adult decorators are working hard to transform the place into a truly elegant ballroom. This year's theme is "Gala on the Riviera". As always there will be a formal dinner, plus live and silent auctions and numerous other games and raffles. A few places are still available for last-minute Gala-goers. If you're interested in attending next weekend's event, call the Garrigan development office to make your reservation.

Next week Garrigan's Christian Leadership in Action group will make their second trip of the season to Mary's Place, a shelter in the Minneapolis area. The group will visit the facility, help serve the noon meal at their soup kitchen, and bring a donation of clothes for the needy that Mary's Place serves. This is one of many service projects that Christian Leadership does throughout the year.

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Mitch Bode and Denise Kohlhaas. Here to tell you about them is Robert.

Mitch Bode is one of the people who is out East for the music trip. He's been active all through high school in both band and choir. He's been active in small vocal groups and has even auditioned for all-state music. Mitch was also in the play last fall. We wish him all the best in the future.

Denise Kohlhaas is part of the Christian Leadership group that performs service projects like the trip to Mary's Place. She's also helped out with planning and reading at school masses. Her biggest activity is probably football cheerleading, where she was part of the trophy-winning group last fall. Good luck after high school to both Denise and Mitch!

Thanks, Robbie! On our Golden Bear calendar this week, there's quiz bowl today in Boone. Then tomorrow is the fourth Sunday of Lent.

Monday four Garrigan faculty members were supposed to be competing in a community quiz bowl at Algona High. Unfortunately, that event has been cancelled-we guess the other people in town must have been scared of the talent our teachers had.

Tuesday the music students return from their trip. Then Wednesday the Christian Leadership group leaves for Mary's Place in Minneapolis.

Next Thursday and Friday the danz squad will hold try-outs for next year's show. There's CYO track Friday in Sioux City, and that night is the Gala preview party.

That's the "Bear Facts" for March. Thanks for joining us, and be sure to tune in again next week when we'll tell you all about "Gala on the Riviera" here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

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