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Do you believe in magic?

St. Thomas to host 20th annual Friends Ball

-Submitted photo The 2020 Friends of St. Thomas Ball raised $218,000 for St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School. The funds raised go far in helping offset operating costs to run the K-6 school each year.

Magic will be in the air this Saturday as St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and School as it hosts its annual Friends of St. Thomas Ball this Saturday.

The fundraiser is a major revenue stream for the private school, which needs the funding to offset the school’s operating budget and provide important resources for the students and staff.

“It’s a much-needed revenue source for our school to operate,” said Heidi Tesdahl, development director for St. Thomas Aquinas Parish and School. “We are supported by our church, by tuition and by this event.”

Last year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Tesdahl moved the event to an all-virtual event on the school’s Facebook page. Still, it raised over $200,000.

When planning this year’s event, Tesdahl leaned toward having another virtual event, but after talking with some school families and parishioners, she decided to plan it as a hybrid event — offering limited in-person seating for a four-course dinner in the school’s gym while also hosting an online show over Zoom. The theme is “Do you believe in magic?”

Tickets are still available for the dinner and are $100 each and can be purchased at the church office. To participate in the event over Zoom, there is no cost.

Dinner will start at 6 p.m., where guests will enjoy social time before being served a four-course dinner served by the St. Thomas Aquinas Ball Food Committee and Chef Jacob from Crafted Food Services.

A live auction featuring several donated items and packages will start t 7:30 on the Zoom event.

Following the live auction, entertainer and magician Christopher Carter will be joining in from his studio in Chicago for an hour of magical entertainment.

A silent auction opened online on Monday and will run until closing at 6 p.m. this upcoming Monday. The auction features more than 200 items and packages donated by sponsors. The auction can be viewed at: http://stthomas2021.ggo.bid.

There will also be a raffle drawing for cash prizes, including a grand prize of $10,000. Tickets are $50 each or $125 for three and can be purchased at the church office.

Those wanting to attend the virtual event will need to register for free at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Pkno84lbQuOkwhKnWQiXug.

More information on the event can be found on the school’s Facebook page, facebook.com/stthomasaquinaswc.

“We’re excited to get together to celebrate the school and hoping for success,” Tesdahl said.

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