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Explore The Mystery Of The Arabian Nights At Auction Fest

By Staff | Apr 1, 2008

From simple beginnings at the Parish Center back in 1988, the annual Auction Fest Fundraising event for the Emmetsburg Catholic School has grown not only as a fundraiser, but also as an event of stewardship and fellowship all rolled into one glittering event. The 20th annual Auction Fest will come to life this weekend, with the mystery and excitement of “Arabian Nights” as the theme of the event, which is set for Saturday night, April 5, at Corrigan Hall in Emmetsburg.

Growing from the original theme of “PROM – People Reliving Old Memories, Auction Fest has sprouted from a small gathering at the Parish Center, moving to the VFW Hall and settling into Corrigan Hall, which is transformed every spring into a world of its own for the Auction Fest. To that end, Co-Chair Jean Reedy headed up the first Auction Fest, and reprises that role this year for the anniversary event.

In honor of the twentieth anniversary of the event, the Preview Party event on Friday night, April 4, will be expanding. The Preview event, which runs from 5 to 7 p.m., is open to the public, allowing an opportunity to view the live and silent auction items that will be offered the following evening. In addition, the perennial favorite Treasure Chest game and the Luck of the Irish games will be available during the Friday evening event.

“People don’t realize that Friday evening is open to the public, and there are games and refreshments to enjoy that night, too,” noted Sandy Pelzer, co-chair of the Auction Fest. “This year we’ll have two new games on Friday night, the Half Chance and a Wine Lottery.

The “Arabian Nights” Auction Fest will start with Mass at Holy Family Church starting at 5 p.m., with the doors of Corrigan Hall opening at 6 p.m. Bidding on silent auction items will begin at that time and continue through the evening.

At 6:45 p.m., Father Clem Currans will deliver an invocation, and a special guest speaker will return to her alma mater to address the group. Lori Brennan Riley attended Emmetsburg Catholic School in her youth and is now is an executive with Target Corporation.

Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. to be followed by the evening’s highlight event, the live auction. Once again, Mr. Joe Temme of Omaha will handle the auctioneering duties of a wide variety of items that prove there is something for every interest.

There are a number of trips and getaways, including a trip to Brazil, donated by Don, Jane, Lance and Tyler Bruch. There are also packages for a Minnesota Vikings game and the Iowa State vs Nebraska football game. There are also getaway trips to Adventureland, Grand Harbor Resort in Dubuque, Kings Pointe in Storm Lake, a week on the Mexican Riviera, a Mississippi Riverboat Cruise, a stay at Nelson’s CabInn and an indoor waterpark in Owatonna, Minnesota. There are also a pair of packages from the Wild Rose Casino and Resort, a concert series package and a golfing package.

One of the truly one-of-a-kind items in this year’s live auction is a baseball autographed by Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. The baseball was donated to Auction Fest by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation of Baltimore, MD, Jessica Gappa, an alumna of Emmetsburg Catholic Schools, is the Assistant Director of Development for the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, facilitated the donation.

“Thank you for your donation request for this year’s AuctionFest fundraiser,” Gappa wrote in a letter to Karen Wuebker of the Emmetsburg Catholic School. “As an alumnus of Emmetsburg Catholic School, I am a true believer in the strong education provided by the ECS teachers and the support from the parish community to continue offering this incredible academic opportunity to children in the area. Although I am unable to individually make a substantial financial contribution to the school, I hope this Cal Ripken, Jr. Hall of Fame autographed baseball will raise funds for ECS and serve as my contribution to keeping those hallways abuzz with positive student activity!

Gappa concluded, “Similarly to the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, I believe Emmetsburg Catholic School is providing youth with the tools necessary to become healthy and productive citizens.

For the football fanatics, there is an autographed Minnesota Vikings jersey belonging to linebacker Chad Greenway, a former Iowa Hawkeye player. If basketball is your interest, another live auction item is a true classic – an original Emmetsburg Catholic High School Basketball Team warmup jacket, donated by Pete Kapustynski, dating back to the 1961-64 era.

An Emmetsburg E’Hawk basketball package, donated by Wentzel’s True Value is also on the auction block, along with a Henry lever-action rifle, donated by the family of Al Laubenthal, Sr., in his memory.

Keeping with the tradition of items for the home, there will be floor lamps, a micro fiber sofa, gas grill, patio set and a custom-made oak buffet, from Gene’s Country Cabinets of Carroll, donated jointly by the ECS Fourth Graders and the Lynn and Beth Schultes family.

There will be fun items, such as the ladies’ favorite “Beach Babes” package, a day at Innovations Spa in Algona, flowers every month from Saxtons and Kliegl’s Enchanted Garden, Homemade Caramel Rolls every month, Steven’s Jewelry gift certificates, and a pontoon ride on Five Island Lake. For those more practical, there are many items such as a water heater from O’Leary Plumbing and Heating, concrete, grain hauling, gas cards, groceries from Fareway and Food Pride, beef and pork.

But don’t forget the priceless auction items – Tuition Packages to ECS, the Fifth Edition ECS Kindergarten Quilt, Church Seating, Dinner at the Rectory by Father Clem, the Holy Family Street Sign and gifts donated by the various classes at ECS.

Hundreds of silent auction items will be offered again, including services, handcrafted items, collegiate apparel and gift items. The traditional games will be offered as well on Saturday, along with the Quilt raffle.

A limited number of tickets remain for Saturday’s Arabian Nights event, and can be obtained by calling the Emmetsburg Catholic School at 852-3464.

Members of the 2008 Auction Fest Executive Committee include Sandy Pelzer, Co-Chair and secretary; Jean Reedy, Co-Chair and live auction chair;

Colleen Ruddy, treasurer; Denise Reimer, decoration chair; Corinda Walker and SueAnne Deitering, silent auction coordinators and Al Laubenthal and Roberta Anderson.