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'Titan Strong' Band-Aid Relief: Games, music and fun

Arts on the Prairie is spearheading a “Titan Strong” Band-Aid Relief event to help Trinity High School recover from the March 2 fire that left the building unusable.

Kristi Pechtl, executive director of Arts on the Prairie, is patterning the fundraiser after the Tornado Band-Aid Relief event held after a tornado went through Dickinson in July 2009.

“Because of the overwhelming success for that event, we figured, ‘Why couldn’t we bring the community together again and help Trinity?’” she said.

Band-Aid Relief starts at noon and continues until midnight on Saturday, April 5, at the Astoria Hotel & Event Center, 363 15th St. W.

Astoria is donating space for the event. A shuttle service will be provided to accommodate parking. The Final Four will also be aired for basketball fans, Pechtl said.


The committee has arranged for live music throughout the day. International recording artist Mitch Malloy will headline the entertainment. Other featured entertainers include the Trinity Jazz Ensemble, Gene and Jessie Veeder, Dakota Breeze and Outlaw Sippin.’

The Odd Fellows Outdoor Play Center will include a large collection of inflatables,  including two jumping castles, slides, a jungle slide, a bungee run and everyone’s favorite battling arena, The Jouster. That entertainment is being led by Eric Smallwood.

The Band-Aid Relief organizers also wanted to give the event a Trinity flare.

Mini-Mardi Gras

Trinity alumnus and committee member Troy Kuntz contacted the Mardi Gras committee about the possibility of using their games. Because many of the decorations were stored off-site, they were spared damage, he said.

Trinity will supply its Top 10 Mardi Gras games, including Ring the Pop, Candy Wheel and Titan Downs.

“We have a nice variety for the little ones and older ones,” Kuntz said.

Kuntz didn’t hesitate to volunteer his time when asked to help.

“Being a Trinity alum, a teacher in Dickinson and a member of the community, there was no way I could say no,” he said. “The committee hammered out the major details, but lots of people are stepping forward, asking to help.”

Compiling stories

Janelle Stoneking also was invited to be part of the committee. Her responsibility is to secure live and silent auction items.

Growing up in Montana, Stoneking has no immediate ties to the high school, but that didn’t matter.

“I was delighted when Kristi asked me to serve on the board — people are my passion and I love this community,” Stoneking said.

She continues to look for donations for the auctions, whether its items for gift baskets or larger items for the live auction.

Many of the items are unique, such as original artwork and a Trinity blanket made out of Titan T-shirts.

“I am consumed by this event, totally,” she said. “It’s wonderful seeing the outpouring of people wanting to give.”

But the event is more than raising money for a good cause.

“We want to strengthen the Trinity family and show them our support,” Stoneking said.

Just like the tornado fundraiser, a video booth will be on site for people to share their personal stories related to Trinity.

“We’ll compile all those stories for a DVD,” she said. “It will make a beautiful keepsake and fundraiser.”

The committee’s goal is to get students back into school as soon as possible. Twenty percent of all proceeds will go into a fund for the teachers to cover their expenses and to replenish their classrooms, she said.

Stoneking has scheduled three drop-off days for the auction items. For more information, send an email to or call 701-690-1934.

‘We’re not alone’

John Odermann, a Trinity alumnus who serves as the school’s director of advancement and head football coach, is amazed at the community’s support. 

“People who don’t have a Trinity connection are doing whatever they can to help us out in time of need,” he said. “We are reminded how great it is to live in North Dakota. When bad things happen, North Dakota circles the wagon and helps each other out.”

The Band-Aid Relief is fostering a warm, fuzzy feeling throughout the Trinity family, he said.

“We feel we’re not alone in this and people are willing to help us out,” he added.

Odermann expects the Band-Aid Relief to be a good time.

“It’s been almost a month since the fire happened,” he said. “I think it’s a good time to take a deep breath, relax and have some fun.”