For years, March has revolved around the annual St. Pat’s Auction for Loras College Campus Ministry. The auction was the biggest fundraiser for the service trips offered through Loras. However, this year, Campus Ministry decided to change its fundraiser and hosted the St. Pat’s Party on Friday, March 10.
During the weeks leading up to the party, participants for each service trip sold raffle tickets. Each student was challenged to sell 25 tickets. Tickets were purchased at $1 per ticket, $5/6 tickets and $10/12 tickets. Students sold these tickets to family, roommates and professors, urging the entire community to get involved. The tickets were put in different baskets created by the different service trips. Baskets items ranged from local pizza restaurant gift cards to an “in spirit relaxation” basket to a dinner for four with President Collins.
Students also signed up to help with the event itself. At 5 p.m., a group decorated the Pub with Irish decor. During the actual event, which began at 5:30 p.m., students walked around the Pub selling 50/50 raffle tickets. Others helped out at the kids table where children of attendees could color pictures, play games or decorate leprechaun hats.
During the event, an Irish band entertained the crowd. The band included junior Liam Ladewski on the Irish flute, junior Ayla Graziano on violin, first-year Brigid Flaherty on vocals, Dr. Eby on bodhran and vocals, and Dan Caraway on guitar. The band performed many popular Irish songs and even encouraged a group to join in the dancing led by Flaherty. The emcee for the event was senior George St. John. Wearing his Irish best, St. John had the audience engaged all night, telling Irish jokes whenever he could. There was even a guest appearance from St. Patrick himself.
Besides the baskets, the party also had a small auction that sold items from guitars to Campus Minister Debbie Gross’ famous scotcheroos to the highly coveted number one housing spot.
“Some alumni were worried about the changes since the auction was a Loras tradition,” said Gross, “but by incorporating the auction into the party, we were able to change the event while keeping people happy.”
Many people had many good things to say about the event.
“I thought it was such a fun night for everyone,” said Gross. “There was a lot of socializing and family fun and was a new way to raise funds for the service trips.”
“Shifting from the St. Pat’s auction last year to the party this year turned out to be a great experience,” said senior Laura Bohorquez Duque, the service trip co-coordinator. “The new setup helped the service trip attendants own up to make the experience better by creating their own baskets and selling raffle tickets. And the party itself was a blast. The Irish music, decorations, food and community made it an enjoyable evening to help service trips.”
Every year, Loras offers eight different service trips, seven throughout the country and one internationally to Honduras. Without the support of the St. Pat’s Party, the service trips would not be possible for many students because the prices would be much higher. For more information about the service trips, contact Crystal Kleitsch at firstname.lastname@example.org.