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Trinity: Building the future, embracing the past

Parent volunteer Lisa Roers gives direction to Heather Tibor on how to decorate a clothes pins for a magnetic and note board in Kayla Hecker's second-grade room at Trinity Elementary West. The board will be among the auction items at the upcoming Fall Gala. (Linda Sailer/ The Dickinson Press)1 / 3
Parent volunteer Ivy Pokorny helps kindergarten student Ashlyn Kress cut out her handprint to decoupage a media center at Trinity Elementary West. The media center will be among the auction items at the Fall Gala. (Linda Sailer/ The Dickinson Press) 2 / 3
Trinity Elementary West kindergarten teacher Cathy Senescall helps one of her students, Bryan Kern, cut out his handprint to decoupage a media center. The item will be an auction item for the upcoming Fall Gala. (Linda Sailer / The Dickinson Press)3 / 3

A "Back to the Future" theme will set the tone when the Dickinson Catholic Schools holds its 16th annual Fall Gala.

"We thought the theme would be fun, but we're also reflecting on building our future and embracing our past—a reference to our capital campaign," Director of Advancement John Odermann said.

The Fall Gala is Sunday, Oct. 9, at the Astoria Hotel and Event Center in Dickinson. The social starts at 4:30 p.m. with a 6 p.m. dinner. Live and silent auctions will follow.

"The Fall Gala has turned into a massive fundraiser for us in the Dickinson Catholic Schools," Odermann said. "People look forward to it each year."

It's an opportunity to look back to where Trinity has been, with yearbooks on display and maybe a letterman's jacket or two.

"My office is stacked with a couple hundred yearbooks," Odermann said. "The advancement office has been the dumping grounds for the year books after the fire. If somebody out there is looking for a yearbook, I might have a copy for them. Some years I've got 20, and some maybe one or two."

Volunteer parents are working on the arrangements and helping make the classroom auction items.

"There's always such a wide variety of auction items made by the students, publicity chairperson Brenda Erie said. "They all have a personal touch and they all are unique—sentimental things to save. It lends itself to friendly bidding among the parents."

Erie, who has three students enrolled in the schools, said the Fall Gala is a good time to get together and focus on the positive.

"We're getting back to the future for a good time, friends and a great auction."

Odermann, a Trinity High School alumnus, said he marks the Fall Gala date on the calendar every year.

"It's a rare event with lots of live and silent auction items," he said. "There are a lot of unique stuff made specifically for the Fall Gala in mind."

He referenced engraved chairs, metal crafts and signs with University of North Dakota and Trinity logos.

"It's stuff that you don't see anywhere else," he said. "Some classes get really creative with what they do. They're like catnip for the grandparents. 'Hey, I want that on my living room wall,' or 'It's a centerpiece their grandchild made for class.' One year we and a custom-made Nativity set painted by the kids. Each classroom in grades K-6 makes some really great things."

The Fall Gala committee has encouraged the junior high and high school classes to make an extra effort to participate this year. For example, the art room is offering a watercolor class or a pottery class.

Local businesses are contributing novelty items. The Brickhouse Grille is donating a culinary class taught by its chef, and Kathy Kiedrowski's foods classes will teach a 101 class in becoming a food hostess.

"There's lots of exciting spaces in the new school that people can get excited about while raising money and being the first people to use the space."

The Dickinson Catholic Schools welcome the entire community to attend the Fall Gala.

"We encourage anybody interested in a fun night with family and friends," Odermann said. "You're looking at a good meal, a live and silent auction and lots of games to play throughout the night."

Tickets are $60 a piece. They are available at all the Dickinson Catholic Schools, at or by calling 701-483-6085.

"If you have been there, come again for a night of fun," Odermann said. "If you haven't been there before, come to see what the Dickinson Catholic Schools are all about."