Enchantment under the sea

HARVEST Atlantis themed event a big success

MANISTEE — The Manistee Catholic Central gymnasium was transformed into an underwater cityscape for the 31st annual HARVEST gala event on Saturday.

Upon entering, one could hear waves crashing and see jellyfish strung from the ceiling changing colors as part of the Atlantis: The Lost City theme.

About 320 people attended the event, which raises money to support the school. Event chairperson Samantha McLinden said it’s the largest fundraiser of the year for the school.

“We’ve made about $100,000 on average the last few years on it. It is a very important event to have for our school,” she said. “All the proceeds go toward the school in general. It pays for everything — heat, electricity, salaries, students, books everything. That’s why it’s so important.

“We’re very appreciative of everyone who donates, comes to the event, who works the event because if we don’t have the workers there’s no way we could do this.”

Before dinner, Father Pablo Martinez welcomed all the guests to the event and thanked them for attending and their generosity.

“Everything we do is for our children, for your children most importantly,” he said. “One thing I’ve experienced in the church and in my faith is that God gives hundredfold. Whatever you give, God will give you many, many, many, many more.”

This year the food was prepared by Jerry Zupin Catering with deserts by Connie Watson from Bake My Day. Entertainment was provided by local band Clear Heals.

“The band was a hit, everybody loved the band, they did a really good job,” said McLinden. “There were good songs … a lot of people were dancing up until the end of the night.”

Lighting inside and outside was done by Scott Mikolajczak.

“It’s so important, the ambiance of the evening. It brings everything together,” said McLinden. “We’re so thankful that he could do that. We heard lots and lots of compliments on the decorations.”

A silent auction was held during the cocktail hour featuring numerous items. The popular live auction included items such as dinners provided by the priests as well as a boat slip at Seng’s Marina. A package including a football signed by the Saber football team and a team photo started a bidding war between a few families, said McLinden.

The MCC Foundation will provide a $15,000 match for tuition assistance if at least that amount was raised during the event. Final totals for auction items or funds raised were not in as of Sunday afternoon.

“I’m sure we (met the match), we always do, but I don’t know that for sure. We’re very appreciative of (the Foundation),” said McLinden.

In addition to the auctions, several raffle drawings took place. Two big winners were MCC alums — Steve Duchon won a 2014 Mazda 3 Hatchback and Don Worm won the grand raffle trip to Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.

McLinden said planning begins again in January for next year’s event.

 

avatar

Posted by Michelle Graves

Michelle is the managing editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3106 or mgraves@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply