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 | Carlos Briceño

St. Mary Immaculate School Holds Innovative Fundraiser

The pandemic has disrupted many plans, making in-person fundraisers, such as St. Mary Immaculate Parish School’s Galabration event, impossible this year. In past years, the Galabration was a fun and festive fundraiser, which included a sit-down dinner, followed by entertainment and live and silent auctions. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, it couldn’t occur, so the fundraising committee decided to do something innovative.

They offered a virtual month-long event during March 2021 involving a $25 calendar. Each day during the month, everyone who bought a calendar was entered into a drawing. One name was drawn each day. The winner won whatever item was listed for that particular day.

Prizes ranged from an Apple watch to a Nintendo switch to local restaurant gift cards to wine tastings to a vacation package.

This year’s Galabration’s theme was “We are in this together.”

“Even though no one is seeing each other much in person, especially all the adults and parents, with no social activities or events, everybody has still found a way to be supportive and to show their support,” said Jill Gauss, one of Galabration’s leaders.  

This year’s Galabration raised $40,000, with 1,600 total calendars sold, she said.

“The generosity from SMI parishioners, school families and staff, alumni and members of the community was truly heartwarming,” she added. “We were overwhelmed by the generosity and so glad the first time trying this concept was a success. This format did seem to reach more people outside of just school families, so that was nice to see. We would definitely consider doing it again.”