Mary Kay Howell tries on clothing accessories during the All Saints Christian School’s Mardi Gras, Saturday evening. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Costumed party-goers from throughout the community brought the carnival spirit to the Civic Center for the All Saints Mardi Gras dinner and dance Saturday night. The 19th annual event had a little something for everyone, including door prizes, a silent auction, music from DJ Louie Najar and a dance performance from the Roswell High School dance team Charlie’s Angels.
Proceeds from the party went to All Saints Catholic School, which received dozens of donations from area residents and businesses for a silent auction. The auction included custom-made seat covers made out of jeans donated by local designer Shilo Halvorson of Crowbar Creations, a quilt made by the school’s 4th- and 5th-grade students, $350 worth of grill products, a solid copper tray and kettle, crock pots and artwork.
Other Mardi Gras activities included a king and queen drawing that elected a married couple from the audience to receive a grill donated by Home Depot, and a drawing for a Smart TV box for those who arrived in costume.
Parent Teacher Support member Tony Rincon said that when it comes to fundraising at ASCS, the annual Mardi Gras event goes a long way.
“The money generated from this event goes straight into funding the school activities,” Rincon said. “It’s not additional stuff. It goes right into paying salaries, buying books — keeping the lights on. So we’re running the school with this money. And every year the community shows up, and they get us there.”
Rincon said the private school is home to about 120 students in grades K-8. He added that as the school continues to grow, he thinks All Saints will one day include a high school class.
All Saints School Board Treasurer Peter Kelly said the school has a building fund that will finance future additions to the school. Building phases will include a new gymnasium, a preschool wing and an arts and library wing.
Kelly said everyone who attends the event knows they’re supporting the school. “It’s the community behind the whole thing. And that’s the success of it.
“The silent auction that we have, you won’t see anything like this. You have parents and kids all making their own artwork. So it’s one-of-a-kind things. … A lot of the unique things are homemade creations, so this is bringing the teachers and the parents and the kids together.”
Larie Garrett, school board president, said a big part of the fundraising is to help with tuition assistance, which pays as much as 80 percent of tuition depending on the family’s financial situation. She said nearly all students receive some form of assistance and the tuition fund is one that constantly needs replenishing.
But at the end of the day, Garrett said the All Saints Mardi Gras event is all about community building and having some fun.
“This event is just something that everybody looks forward to. We don’t even carry on the fundraising once the dance starts!” she said. “We just really want people to come and enjoy themselves.”