The Friends of St. Thomas Ball is scheduled for Saturday and many volunteers are working to put the finishing touches on the annual event. The ball is the only fundraiser the school holds each year and a goal of $140,000 has been set by the committee organizing the event. Even the students at the school have contributed to make the ball a success.
Ball co-chair Ashley Dinsdale said each classroom assembled and prepared a gift basket which will be sold on the live auction.
"We've got some really great baskets this year," said Dinsdale. "There's everything from a hunting basket to a spa/relaxation package and even an Apple iPad."
Ella and Sophie Dinsdale, along with their mom, Ashley, look over some of the St. Thomas Ball baskets assembled by students at the school. The Friends of St. Thomas Ball will be held Saturday from 6 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at the church parish center.
The three-year-old preschool class are responsible for assembling the relaxation basket, which includes massages, pedicures and a certificate for cleaning services. Dinsdale said the four-year-old preschoolers put together the hunting package which includes a camouflage frame pack, chair, deer and turkey calls and binoculars. A Kindle Fire basket, complete with a case and gift certificate from Amazon for the purchase of eBooks was assembled by the kindergarten class.
First graders prepared a landscaping basket with planting pots, a wheel barrow, gardening tools and service certificates. Dinsdale said second graders will provide the iPad package and fourth-grade students contributed to provide a cooking-themed basket which includes gift cards, cookbooks, aprons and candles.
The third- and fifth-grade students combined their efforts to assemble a family fun weekends package with tickets to the science center, Blank Park Zoo, Lost Island Water Park, punch passes for Fuller Hall, hotel and gas certificates. Sixth graders organized a camping basket with cabin rentals, golf passes, a tent, airbed and camping equipment.
In addition to the student's efforts, the staff of St. Thomas school have also prepared a basket, Dinsdale said. The teachers created an outdoor patio package.
"We also have an Iowa State Cyclone and an Iowa Hawkeye basket which are always popular with the bidders. "And this year, we have a RAGBRAI package that includes bikes, a tent and sleeping bags."
The baskets will be sold on the live auction along with many other items, according to Dinsdale.
Tickets for the St. Thomas Ball may be purchased at the school office or by calling 832-1346 or from any ball committee member. No dance tickets will be sold at the door.
A raffle featuring a grand prize of a $10,000 shopping spree at Gilbert Jewelers or $10,000 in cash will be held at the end of the evening. Other raffle prizes include a 55-inch television with surround sound and Blu Ray player and $1,000 in Scrip gift cards. Tickets for the raffle are $50 each or $125 for three. Those tickets will be available at the ball.
A tuition raffle, featuring a drawing for one-year's tuition, valued at $1,750, is also planned. Chances for that drawing are $10 each.
The doors open at 6 p.m. at the Parish Center. The live auction begins at about 7:30 p.m. and a silent auction will run until about 9 p.m. The band W.A.G.G. Will perform from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
The ball committee will host a preview Friday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at a business after hours event.