Troy Ruda – Advancement Director
[Hays, KS, February 17, 2021] The beginning of Catholic Schools Week 2021 marked the annual Holy Family Elementary Chili Supper and Bazaar on January 31. While the traditional in-person event was affected by the current challenges of COVID-19, adaptations were made to continue the long standing tradition.
Principal Rachel Wentling and committee members along with countless volunteers served over 1026 bowls of chili with a chicken sandwich, vegetables and a cinnamon roll or brownie. Diners were greeted drive-thru style in the parking lot of the school and meals were delivered to their vehicles.
While some of the standard events of the bazaar were not able to be held, the silent auction was taken online and the “Feed the Pig” contest (a competition fundraiser based on classroom) was available in-person and online. The raffle item winners were announced online via the schools’ facebook page.
“The 2021 chili supper would not have been possible without the incredible help of 146 parent and family volunteers throughout the weekend. This, along with the time and dedication of our sub-committee chairs and Home and School officers, created this great success,” said co-chairs Jessica Acosta and Ryan Pfannenstiel. “We are truly humbled by the support, time and creative thinking of everyone to make this year a success. We are blessed with our Catholic school families and community,.” added Acosta and Pfannenstiel.
While forecasted estimates were conservative, the results of the event fundraiser well exceeded any previous year at approximately $30,000 over the current year’s budgeted goal. Because of the generosity of the Hays community and supporters all across the country, over $71,000 was raised for Holy Family Elementary operations.
“We knew going into the weekend that the event would be successful, but we just didn’t know the degree of the success! Every area of the Chili Supper was up from last year, from patron donations, to the online silent auction, raffle ticket sales, support for Feed the Pig, and meal ticket sales. Every line item increased over last year. HFE has many loyal supporters and the entire school community contributes to the success of our annual fundraiser. We are humbled and grateful for the support of our school and the students who attend here,” said Principal Rachel Wentling.
Located in Hays, Kan., the Heartland Parishes Catholic Schools, Thomas More Prep-Marian and Holy Family Elementary, is a Catholic school system serving grades PK-12. Students come from Hays, the surrounding region, and from countries around the world. Under the direction of the Diocese of Salina, the Heartland Parishes Catholic Schools are supported by the Catholic churches of Hays, Catharine, Antonino, Schoenchen and Munjor. At Holy Family Elementary, we are Christ to one another. For over a century, Thomas More Prep-Marian has served young people in the traditions of spiritual growth, academic excellence, and leadership formation.