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St. Mary’s High School gala attendees enjoy ‘groovy’ evening
Linda Oppelt
/ Categories: Diocesan Schools

St. Mary’s High School gala attendees enjoy ‘groovy’ evening

By Ramon Falt

COLORADO SPRINGS. In the 1970s, St. Mary’s High School had not yet celebrated its 100th birthday. Harkening back to that more youthful time, the school hosted a ’70s-style “Disco Fever” gala April 15.

Bell-bottom pants, ruffled shirts and some wildly non-dress code compliant hairstyles were once again all the rage as the community celebrated a decade that is often forgotten among the school’s nearly 14 decades of history.

Whether the fashions, music and hairstyles of the unique ‘70s should be forgotten was not the question posed to the faithful members of the Pirate family who wined, dined and danced the night away.

In addition to supporting the school to the “tune” of $160,000 in gross receipts and contributions, there were loads of fun opportunities throughout the night. There were numerous games to entertain the adults, music provided by St. Mary’s senior Alex Bodnar, a “dessert dash” that gave the highest bidding tables the first opportunity to grab some magnificent treats, and dance lessons provided by St. Mary’s students Cameo Ward and Carlos Trechter.

After Bishop James Golka opened the evening in prayer, Trechter once again had the stage to sing the National Anthem. His musical talent is a testament to his dedication, and to a reinvigorated fine arts program at St. Mary’s.

As the “groovy” evening rolled on, live auction items took center stage. Long-time auctioneer “Pistol” Peter Husack was in rare form, and he encouraged the St. Mary’s faithful to bring home some delightful prizes. A sampling of those auction items were admission and lodging for the world-famous Austin City Limits Music Festival, a choice of a vacation in the Canadian Rockies or on the big island of Hawaii, and a guided group pheasant hunt at Rocky Mountain Roosters. Dan Mersman, class of ’77 and coach of the school’s top 10 in-the-nation competitive shooting team provided the guided pheasant hunt.

Another popular live auction item was “President for the Week.” The winner secures for a special student the honor of being the school president for a week. Just some of the perks that come with the job are the privilege of setting the school dress code for that week, an off-campus leadership lunch with the president and principal, Dutch Bros. coffee delivered for the entire week and much more.

Outgoing president Deacon Rob Rysavy noted how much he enjoyed the “president for the week” offering each year.

“Our students always impress me with their fun-loving spirit and their great questions when it comes time to be the ‘president.’ I have no doubt our amazing incoming president, Tom Maj, is going to enjoy his experience with our outstanding students as much as I have.”

Prior to the “Gift from the Heart,” a raise-the-paddle auction item that generates dollars specifically for tuition assistance, Trechter once again took center stage and shared a little about the goodness of his four years at St. Mary’s.

“We have great teachers who truly care about their students.  They helped me become a better man,” said Trechter, who is a senior.

The night was a tremendous success, but Bishop Golka helped put “success” in its proper perspective when he opened in prayer.

“I’m touched by the St. Mary’s community’s commitment to Catholic education, and I pray for the success of the school. We keep in mind that ‘success’ means following the will of Jesus Christ in whatever he calls us to.”

(Ramon Falt is Events Director for St. Mary’s High School.)

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