By J1 Reporter Alida Farrens
Some may say that MarianFEST (Funding Education in the Servite Tradition) is one of the most important events of the school year. With proceeds benefiting tuition assistance and scholarships for students, this is one of Marian’s largest fundraising events. Last year’s “Life is sweet at Marian” themed event raised around $450,000.
MarianFEST consists of an annual benefit dinner and auction held in February. Sr. Peggy Miller, one of Marian’s Advancement Associates, said “There are hundreds of parent and student volunteers that work to help Marian FEST run smoothly.” This event is a great way for Marian students to become more involved.
There are so many contributors that donate money to Marian every year. “All of the money goes towards operating costs, expenses, teachers salaries, classroom essentials, everything really,” Sr. Peggy said. Many companies support the FEST with corporate tables and other yearly donations.
“We have already sold almost 100 raffle tickets at $100 each,” Sr. Peggy said. The FEST also helps generate money through the cost of the tickets and bids on silent or live auction items.
These are a few of the Marian student volunteers and their parents who have contributed to the fundraiser.
Colleen Sully, a junior at Marian who worked the fest last year, said “I honestly don’t know much about MarianFEST. I think it’s just a fundraiser to help raise money for the school. Last year I welcomed the guests and gave them candy. I also ran and gave the winners their prizes from the auction. It was so much fun meeting all of the people who help contribute to our school.”
Auction prizes can consist of vineyard trips, yoga memberships, Creighton basketball tickets, Apple Airpods, Field Day VIP tickets, and sometimes, even a cute dog.
Every year there is an annual kick off patron party for all of the parents, grandparents, and alumnas who have donated. More than 500 people attend this party and the actual FEST.
Nayah Mbilian, a junior at Marian who also worked the event last year, said “MarianFEST is so much fun. It basically raises money for scholarships and offers girls the chance to come here even if they can’t afford it financially. I would totally be involved with MarianFEST again. I love all of the fun themes and my free t shirt!”
This year will be Marian’s 37th annual MarianFEST. The theme is “The Big shinDIG” where the Marian community will celebrate all of the construction and renovations of the school. It will be held at the Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District on Feb 8.
MarianFEST is incredibly important for the success of Marian. It opens up opportunities for girls so that they are able to get the best experience and education possible. “People are encouraged to contribute by mail, parent newsletters, word of mouth and donating items by underwriting and volunteering. Those are the most appreciated,” Sr. Peggy said.