By SCOTT CARLSON
North Platte Post
NORTH PLATTE, Neb.-Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 29-Feb. 4, is an opportunity for North Platte residents to show their support of the North Platte Catholic Schools.
"Without the community support, so many of our schools would not be successful," said Gwen Covey with North Platte Catholic Schools.
While the students and staff will be celebrating all week long, there are several events that the public is invited to attend.
"Our Opening Ceremony will be on Monday, and that's at 9:45," said Covey. "The Mayor will come and he does a proclamation and our superintendent will speak."
The morning will also include something new and unique.
"We are going to have a glow-in-the-dark Rosary, and it's an all-school Rosary, so I think that is going to be really special," said Covey.
On Tuesday, Bishop Joseph G. Hanefeldt will deliver Mass in the McGahan Activity Center at McDaid Elementary, the public is invited to attend, and Grandparents will be able to visit classrooms afterward.
"We're just doing a little special thank you for our grandparents," said Covey.
Wednesday evening will be an open enrollment meeting for parents of pre- K-12 students interested in enrolling their students at McDaid or St. Pats.
Also, the Annual Irish Fest Event will be held on Feb. 26. The fundraiser is an important part of the overall operations at the schools.
"It's really how our school system survives," said Wendy Dodson, Executive Director of the Catholic Schools Endowment. "We're a non-public school, so we don't receive any state or federal funding."
Dodson said a third of their budget comes from fundraisers.
"Our two parishes in town, St. Pats and Holy Spirit, they support us financially, our school families pay tuition, then the other third of that comes from fundraising efforts."
Irish Fest has been a staple of the community since 1975 when longtime Catholic Schools Administrator Bill McGahan started it.
"It was born out of necessity at that time," said Dodson. "They were looking for one more fundraiser, one more way to bring a revenue stream to the school, and it's been a tradition over the years."
Dodson said the event would feature good family fun, with a homemade meal, games, fun jumpz, a bake sale, a raffle, and a silent auction.
For more information, follow the North Platte Catholic Schools on Facebook.
Listen to Covey and Dodson on Good Morning North Platte (FM 98.1).