St. Ed’s ball is ‘wrapped around the kids’

As always, there will be exotic prizes and auction items at the 30th annual St. Edmond Ball. New cars, trips and jewelry are available, but there will also be art pieces created by those students the ball supports.

“We want the ball to be wrapped around the kids,” said Dana Oswald, ball co-chair. “That’s what the school is, it’s all for the students.”

The ball will be Saturday at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn and Suites, with a theme of “Children are God’s Celebrities.” The annual event is one of the major fundraisers that supports the Catholic school. Co-chairs are Dean and Dana Oswald, and Todd and Amanda Baker.

The kids have made placemats for the dinner, said Oswald, a St. Edmond preschool teacher. There will be a display of the faculty and their years of service.

“Dana and Amanda have gotten a lot of artwork that students have done, that will be on the live auction,” said Mary Lynn Biggins, director of marketing and public information. “There will be things from at least every elementary grade level, and some high school things.”

“Each grade has a project,” Oswald said. “The preschool painted a picnic table, and we’ve done canvases with paintings. Kindergarten through fifth grade, for each class we took a picture, and each class did a themed photo to go along with the ball.”

One photo features the kindergarteners creating a human alphabet, while another shows fifth graders forming a heart.

Several trips will be offered in the auction. The big one is for a villa near Manzanillo, Mexico, said director of development Tom Miklo.

“It’s a 10,000-square-foot villa. You get it for a week, and it comes with six servants who will shop for you and cook for you and chauffeur for you,” Miklo said. “It’s quite breathtaking. I’m thinking about bidding on it myself.”

Trips to Okoboji, Branson and Florida will also be offered. A new car and two $1,000 tuition scholarships will be raffled off.

Oswald said one new thing this year will be a silent auction dessert table.

“It will open at 5, and end at 9:30. Anything people buy, they can take right to their table and eat it,” she said. “There will also be dessert in the buffet, but this is an extra added thing.”

Oswald has been busy building committees, decorating for the ball and talking with donors to prepare for the day.

“It’s right down my alley. I love to do party planning and decorating and working with kids on different things,” she said.

“This goes to assist our operating budget. Obviously it’s vital to what we do,” said Miklo. “Over the past 29 years we’ve raised nearly $5 million for that cause.”

Last year the ball raised more than $235,000, Biggins said.

“It’s also kind of a blow-your-horn night,” said Miklo. “It’s our night to tout Catholic education, and really get together. We’ll get between 700 to 900 people there. It’s a very prestigious event, we believe, and one of the nicest social events in Fort Dodge.”