Friends of St. Edmond Ball will put the accent on what’s possible

36th annual event looks to set record

-Submitted photo
This year’s Friends of St. Edmond Ball theme is “Together We Can!” The “Together We Can” sign above was written by Grace Crimmins. Pictured left to right are Zoe Crimmins, Greenlee Crimmins, Josephine Crimmins, McKade Lunn, Cambree Lunn, and Grace Crimmins.

A few changes to this year’s Friends of St. Edmond Ball have the Catholic school’s director of development excited.

The Friends of St. Edmond Ball, which is the largest community fundraiser for St. Edmond Catholic School, will be held Saturday at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites from 6 p.m. to midnight.

Tom Miklo, St. Edmond director of development, said this is the 36th annual Friends of St. Edmond Ball.

“It has just grown by leaps and bounds over the years,” he said.

He added that, sometimes with long-standing events, “you reach lulls.”

-Messenger file photo by Hans Madsen
Ann Feser, of Fort Dodge, proudly shows off the fine vintage she won in the Wine Pull at the annual Friends of St. Edmond Ball at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites in 2018.

To prevent that from happening with the St. Edmond Ball, Miklo said this year a couple of changes were made.

“One of the things we were trying to do this year was reach out to the younger crowd as well as the older crowd to try and really get things going in a stronger fundraising direction,” he said. “So I recruited some younger chairs this year, Mitch and Jamie Lunn and Ben and Jenn Crimmins. And they have done an amazing job of recruiting volunteers and getting organized.”

Miklo said St. Edmond is “really excited about this year’s event. We think it’s going to be a big crowd and we think it’s going to be a big number at the end of the evening for us.”

One of the reasons Miklo is excited is because this year’s event chairs have reached out to past donors and asked if they would consider increasing their gifts as a matching incentive for new donors.

That went really well, Miklo said, and there are “about $30,000 in matching gift incentives put on the table. That is being met by new donors, so we’re very excited and obviously happy about that.”

The 2019 Friends of St. Edmond Ball chairs and their families are, front row left to right: Greenlee Crimmins, Zoe Crimmins, Grace Crimmins, McKade Lunn, Cambree Lunn. Back row left to right, Ben Crimmins, Jenn Crimmins, Josephine Crimmins (being held), Jamie Lunn, Mitch Lunn.

Another new addition to the Friends of St. Edmond Ball this year is something that is known as a Champagne diamond.

Miklo said there will be 100 glasses of Champagne available for purchase. One of those will have either a zirconia or a diamond in it.

“We’ve never tried this before,” Miklo said. “It’s been done at other places and it’s been quite successful.”

Doors open at the Startlite at 6 p.m. and a buffet will be going from the opening until 7:30 p.m. Miklo said there will be a silent auction with more than 100 items from 6 to 11 p.m.

A live auction with about 15 items will also be held at 8:30 p.m. and last about an hour.

And, as in previous years, there will also be a car raffle and a tuition raffle.

Burnin’ Sensations, a five-piece band from the Ames area, will be returning to the Friends of St. Edmond Ball after playing last year.

“They did a great job,” Miklo said, adding they will be playing three sets throughout the evening.

At the end of the evening, there will also be an announcement of how many net funds were raised.

“We’re hoping to set a new record,” he said.

The previous record of $263,000 was set 10 years ago, in 2009.

“That’s kind of the number we’re hoping to eclipse,” Miklo said.

For those wanting to purchase tickets, Miklo said all they need to do is show up at the Starlite Saturday night.

“We’ll have everything available at the door,” he said, which includes both tickets to the event and raffle tickets.

But for those who want to buy tickets beforehand, they can call 955-6077 or stop by the St. Edmond business office.

Miklo said the Friends of St. Edmond Ball is vital to the success of the school’s mission of providing the best Catholic education possible.

“The funds go directly to our operational expenses,” he said, adding that, with rising education costs, it’s very important to have funds to pay for it.

“It’s very important for us to keep ahead of all those rising trends and costs,” he said.

Miklo added he’s grateful to both the Lunns and Crimmins for being this year’s chairs, as well as all the volunteers.

“They have done an exemplary job of working, pounding the pavement, making phone calls,” he said. “Just doing all the things necessary to make this night a success.”