Holy Rosary virtual gala pulls in major support


DANCING FOR JOY (AND TECH) — In this image taken from a video, Holy Rosary students perform a dance and song in order to promote donations for new smart boards at the school as part of the annual Holy Rosary Gala fundraiser.
By: 
Adam Rollins
Staff Writer

Despite not being able to hold an in-person event, this year’s Holy Rosary School Gala and auction raised record-breaking funding for the school, said Principal Lori Racine.

The gala is the Catholic school’s major annual fundraiser that keeps tuition down and provides for some major expenses for the growing student body.

“We think it went really well. Last year was a record year, and we surpassed that this year,” Racine commented. “There were some glitches with the online stuff, but we worked it out.”

The final tally for the fundraising has not yet been announced.

Organizers for the gala this year created pre-recorded promotional videos with students and became video streamers in order to host a live online auction on Feb. 27 with Racine, MC Bryan Gleize and Father Thomas Vordtriede. The event was formatted as an entertainment broadcast that families and supporters were invited to make a night out of with watch parties at home.

Racine said the team effort to plan and run an all-virtual gala event showed the dedication of staff and volunteers, and the results highlighted the extreme generosity of the community.

“They still had faith in us and donated to us to try to make it as successful as possible. ... I think more people actually got to participate overall,” Racine said. “When you have a dinner it’s great, but you can only have so many people and they’re also paying for dinner. (With virtual), hundreds of people can join and don’t have to pay for a meal, so maybe they have more money to spend on other stuff.”

Racine said she could see the possibility of having some virtual component for future galas, even after the event can be held in person again. Organizers won’t discuss that until they start planning next year’s event.

The fundraising goals for this year’s gala, on top of covering everyday needs, included upgrading smart boards in the school’s 10 class rooms. The new boards, costing about $3,500 each, will be able to interact directly with students’ Chromebook computers at school or at home.

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