01/24/11 The 2nd annual â€śA Night in Italyâ€ť fundraiser for St. Michael School attracted hungry and generous people from all over the county on Saturday night. According to Lynndi Radar, co-chair of the event, some 500 tickets to the meal featuring authentic Italian cuisine by Oh Mammaâ€™s Italian Deli were sold in advance and they had prepared food for yet another 100 or so as they anticipated walk-ins. According to Radar, they had sold 611 tickets before the night was over. Prior to the event last year, they had sold 450 advance tickets. In 2011, the event netted over $10,000 and this yearâ€™s proceeds are expected to surpass that figure.
Radar and Co-Chair Nadine Oliver said the event was successful last year and they wanted to keep the momentum going. Radar said, â€śThis is the kick-off to the annual fundraising drive.â€ť Oliver said, â€śIt provides a way to bridge the gap between the tuition and the actual costs of educating the children enrolled.â€ť Both Radar and Oliver stressed that there are practical concerns, such as electric bills, that need to be addressed.
Radar herself is a St. Michaelâ€™s alumnus. Her daughter Madelyn is now a second grade student and is the fourth generation, including Radarâ€™s mother Eyvonne Aker and grandfather Dr. John Bottoroff, to attend the school. Oliver has a son in 3rd grade and twins boys in the kindergarten program.
Oliver said, â€śSt. Michaelâ€™s delivers a well-rounded education that educates the entire child-mind, body, and soul.â€ť Radar said they are extremely proud of the fact the St. Michaelâ€™s had the second highest ISTEP (Indiana State Testing for Educational Progress)scores in the entire Fort Wayne/South Bend Dioceses.
In addition to the many parents of children and staff members of Â the school helping to plan and work during the event, members of the Ancilla Menâ€™s Soccer Team, Girlâ€™s Softball Team, and Girlâ€™s Volleyball Team help with the set-up, serving during the event, and the clean-up.
Acting as Master of Ceremonies during most of the evening was John Oliver. Oliver encouraged attendees to sign up for the silent auction items that had been donated, enter the prize drawings, and purchase crosses that had been made by every class in the school.
According to Radar, the purchases of the children’s handiwork brought in $1,000.
Although there were several prizes handed out during the event, the grand prize donated by Oliver Ford was won by Larry and Kaye Faulstich. The couple can chose a trip to Cancun, Las Vegas or a Carnival Cruise.
Beginning on January 29 and continuing to February 1, St. Michaelâ€™s will join with other schools in celebrating Catholic School Week. The motto for the week for 2012 is â€śFaith, Academics, and Serviceâ€ť. Parents or others in the community wanting to learn more about the schoolâ€™s offerings can arrange to visit the school every Wednesday in February from 6:00 -7:30 p.m.
Another event, Trivia Night, for the Schoolâ€™s Athletic Board will be held on February 18.
Carol Anders Correspondent