The St. Francis Xavier School annual gala drew a capacity crowd to Holy Cross Hall on the school and church grounds on Saturday evening, April 23.
The 2016 annual gala’s main goal was to raise funds for a new playground for the private Catholic school, which accommodates grades TK – 8. It’s been 15 years since the playground has been redone, according to event chair JoDee Geryak.
The Hall was decorated and transformed into a Hawaiian Luau setting, complete with whole roast pig on a spit and hula and fire dancers. More people showed up than there were seats for, so some had to sit at the event bar for the evening.
“This year, having it at our home facility was super beneficial,” explained Geryak. “People like being where they are familiar. People like what they’re used to.”
“We made it look different from what it usually looks like,” she added. The event was “transformed into Hawaii. But it still had that comfortable feeling.”
“Our parishioners were there. We had many family and friends attend. Alumni family, alumni students. That was great.”
“We just had a great energy,” she also said. “People were excited to make it the best it could be. We were there to raise money for our children – specifically, this year was the playground fund.”
“We’re working really hard to raise funds so we can get it started soon.”
Geryak chaired a committee of more than 40 St. Francis Xavier School families and alumni parents to organize the event, which included a raffle for a trip to Maui, Hawaii.
Parents began raising funds in 2015 for the new school playground, which is estimated to cost more than $70,000.
“We still have a little ways to go, to raise more than $70,000,” said Geryak. “This event has put a huge dent in the cost and we should be able to get work on the playground started.”