Marquette's annual Magic of Children event will become a reality once again on Saturday, July 11 despite the continuing pandemic and all are invited to participate.
“While Covid-19 has changed how the event will happen, the celebration will be as vibrant as ever as there will be opportunities to participate from anywhere around the world,” said Marquette High School Principal Geoffrey Kaiser.
Beginning at 2 p.m., Marquette's Trinity Center will be open to purchase tickets for a cash raffle, or to buy a hamburger, chicken sandwich or hot dog meal prepared by Kalmes Restaurant. Folks can also preview auction items, and buy bingo cards for a chance to win a 55" television.
Participants at the 2020 event will also notice a help-desk station set to provide technical assistance for those that would like to join in the fun from home via Zoom or a live streaming service.
Those booths will continue to be set up as meals are served from 4 to 6 p.m. There will be places to enjoy the meal indoors with the opportunity to social distance, or under the shelter of a tent outside. Meals can even be brought to cars so families can enjoy the feast anywhere. The $15 meal comes with a host of side dishes and there will be a cash bar available for those dining on campus.
"We've been adapting our event this year. Our goal is to keep the magic alive while keeping everyone safe," said Kaiser. “The silent auction was completed online back in April and when the big raffle grid sold out, the top prize was drawn then. Still, there will be some amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and many special items for auction at the live event.”
Also on tap at the Magic of Children is the recognition of parish members. Next Saturday at 6 p.m. while families are enjoying their meals, there will be a short presentation to welcome 2020 honorees of the the annual event.
This year Sandy Mueller, Kenny Michels, Joe and Carole Lies, and Milton and Luanne Weber will all be celebrated. That will be followed at 6:30 p.m. by the live auction, which will begin with Colonel Jess Herrig and his wife Paula leading the way. There will be a quick break around 7:45 p.m. for bingo.
The Magic of Children is Marquette Catholic Schools’ largest fundraiser of the year and there have been some roadblocks along the way in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.
"Our biggest challenge was finding a way for everyone that would like to support our school to be able to do so," said Kaiser, "We are trying some new things, but it will also open the doors for people living far away to join in on the fun."
Using Zoom meeting services or Youtube streaming, families can watch the night unfold, bid on the interesting auction items, purchase bingo cards and play along, and enjoy the company of others watching from home.
For more than two decades, the Magic of Children event has become a community staple. Kaiser shares that, "It's not just a fundraiser. It is a time to sit down with friends, play games, and enjoy some great food too."
Some items that will be auctioned this year include home cooked meals, a chance to be a rockstar for a night, wagon rides, home decor, a Hawkeye cornhole set, a Yeti cooler, and much more.
For those wishing to start the fun earlier, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Marquette's annual Golf Outing will take place at the Bellevue Country Club. There are still spots open for teams of four to join in ($200 for a team) and a few holes are still available for sponsorship ($100 for a hole).
"It'll be a great day," Kaiser concluded, "We invite everyone to participate however they are able. If you've never attended before or if this is your 21st time, there is always something new and there is always something for everyone. Please give yourself a break from cooking, treat yourself to the fun and support a great cause right here in Bellevue."
Those who would like more information, those who are interested in sponsoring a golf outing hole, or those who wish to purchase meal tickets in advance can call 563-872-3356. Those who would like to set up a tee time for the golf outing should call the golf course at 563-872-4262.