St. Mary goes Hollywood

26th annual benefit on Saturday

ERIN O’NEILL The Marietta Times Eighth grade student council members Claire Schenkel, left, and Lauren Clark, right, hold a sign made by St. Mary School nurse Tonya Booth to be displayed at the 26th annual St. Mary School Foundation benefit on Saturday.

St. Mary Catholic School Foundation will host its 26th annual benefit on Saturday with a chance to win some big prizes. The theme is “Night in Hollywood.”

“It’s old school Hollywood, complete with a red carpet,” said Tonya Booth, school nurse and volunteer of the committee putting on the event.

The annual fundraiser will be Saturday at 7 p.m. in the parish center at St. Mary School.

The SMS Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization established to perpetuate, support and encourage the educational goals of St. Mary Catholic School. The foundation is dedicated to meeting Catholic education challenges of today and tomorrow by protecting the financial stability of the school for generations to come, according to their mission statement.

“We usually get about 425 to 450 people and we have raised $30,000,” Booth said. “These parishioners are just so wonderful. Even if they don’t have children at the school, they come out to help.”

Parkhurst Dining will cater the event, which is open to the public. Members of student council will be helping in various ways.

“My parents always attend but this will be my first year helping out,” said Claire Schenkel, an eighth grader at the school.

Schenkel and student council vice president Lauren Clark will serve as coat check girls for the glamorous event and the parish center will be decked out in gold, black and red.

The SMS benefit is the culmination of National Catholic Schools Week which is traditionally kicked off on Jan. 28. Locally, the Diocese of Steubenville chooses to celebrate in April to avoid conflicts with weather and school closures. But this event is traditionally held in February and has been packing the hall for 25 years.

“We started this foundation 25 years ago to ensure a Catholic and Christian grade school in Marietta,” said longtime board member Joe Augenstein. “We set up this event to draw attention to the foundation and thought that people might donate to our cause that way.”

While the money is not earmarked for anything in particular, it goes into a trust fund for the school to be used as needed. Recent purchases include a building at the corner of Third and Marion streets, torn down to make more parking, chromebooks for the upper grades and smartboards for teachers.

Limited tickets are available by calling the school office at 740-374-8181 or the Basilica rectory offices at 740-373-3643. The cost is $125 for two tickets. Each person will receive a raffle ticket and be entered to win various prizes, including the grand prize of $2,000.

If you go

¯ What: “Night in Hollywood” 26th annual St. Mary School Foundation benefit.

¯ Where: St. Mary Catholic School, Marietta.

¯ When: Saturday at 7 p.m.

¯ Cost: $125 ticket admits two people.

¯ Details: $6,000 in prizes. Grand prize $2,000. Cash bar and hors d’oeuvres.

¯For information: Limited tickets available by calling the school office at 740-374-8181 or the Basilica rectory offices at 740-373-3643.