Catholic education has been an important part of life in Fort Dodge almost since the town was founded. The first Catholic school got under way in 1862. The 151 years since have witnessed many changes and stupendous progress. The impressive educational complex that is today's St. Edmond is a treasure admired and valued by the whole community.
The world of the 21st century is vastly different from the America of the Civil War era. Even so, the dedication of the Catholic community to the enhancement of its educational system, which was robust from the very start, remains a powerful force in our day. That's a commitment that deserves admiration and helps build a stronger Fort Dodge.
Schools are an expensive proposition. Privately funded educational enterprises can prosper only when those who prize their special qualities have the creativity and commitment to generate the monies required.
Here in Fort Dodge, the Friends of St. Edmond Ball is an especially important example of what innovative volunteers can achieve when motivated by an important goal.
This year, the many stalwarts who have made the ball legendary celebrate more than a quarter century of dedication to an important cause. They help keep Catholic education a vibrant force in Fort Dodge and the surrounding communities.
The annual fundraising event has been a key part of the support strategy for the Fort Dodge Catholic School System since the first ball in 1984 generated a net of $50,000. Its subsequent success has been nothing short of spectacular.
Over the years, the dollar goals have grown increasingly more ambitious. The success in reaching aggressive targets has been impressive. The grand total for the first 29 years is just short of $5 million. In 2012, the event raised more than $235,000.
When the many advocates of St. Edmond gather Saturday at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites for the 2013 incarnation of the ball, it seems likely they will mark the event's 30th anniversary with a truly memorable display of support. Tickets are still available and can be purchased through the St. Edmond business office or at the door. Chairing the 2013 ball are Dean and Dana Oswald and Todd and Amanda Baker. As in years past, the evening will feature both live and silent auctions. The auction items can be viewed on the St. Edmond website - www.st-edmond.com.
The Messenger applauds the hard work and generosity that have built the Friends of St. Edmond Ball into an amazing annual tradition.
Good luck in making 2013 a success story that will be remembered for many years to come.