The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 21, 2013

Person of the week: Concerned parent: Volunteer assists at annual Bishop Carroll gala

Frank Sojak

EBENSBURG — A good education begins with people who care about students.

On Saturday, more than 200 parents, teachers and others who care about the students at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School near Ebensburg will attend the sixth annual Carrollian Gala, a fundraiser for school programs.

The event, which has raised more than $125,000 in the first five years, will be held at the school. The gala starts at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour, followed by dinner at 6:30. There also will be live and silent auctions, an awards ceremony and dancing.

Carol Keim, a member of the gala committee, was among  the parents who founded the event.

“We wanted to start something for the common good of the Bishop Carroll students,” she said.

The group is raising money not only by selling tickets at $50 each, but by auctioning off items that individuals, businesses and sports teams have donated, Keim said.

Those items include an autographed photograph of Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers; a set of braces donated by a local dentist; and four Notre Dame football tickets, she said. More than $21,000 in scholarships that were donated by area colleges and universities also will be auctioned off, she said.

The committee already has collected $5,000 in donations from throughout the community, Keim said.

Because the school is nearing its 50th anniversary of its first graduating class, the committee believed it would be appropriate to honor distinguished alumni.

Those alumni are Sister Marjorie McGuire, CCW, class of 1967; Cambria County Judge Timothy Creany, class of 1963; James Takacs, an Ebensburg veterinarian, class of 1978; Roy Holtz, past president of the school’s board of trustees, class of 1975; and Robert Kolar, Cambria County sheriff, class of 1963.

Each year, the Cornerstone Awards for exemplary service to the school are presented. This year the recipients are Albert and Marie McMullen, Geri and Paul Beltowski, and Kathy and Max Oravec.

The other members of the gala committee are Jerry Stephens, Lorie Ratchford, Jon Nagy, Joe Skura, Chris Laverick, Kathy Oravec, Deb Maruca and Michele Ivory. There also will be many more volunteers at the gala itself, she said.

Keim, a mother of four, believes in providing a good education for students at the school.

Two of her sons, Nick and Drew, are graduates of Bishop Carroll and another son, Alex, is a sophomore at the school. She also has a daughter, Elisabeth, who is in sixth grade at Holy Name.

“I value the education that my sons have received in 12 years of Catholic school,” she said about why she is involved with the gala. “I want that to continue for my other two children.”

For her efforts, Keim, an Ebensburg resident, is the Person of the Week.

Skura, who also is the school’s public relations director, said Keim is involved with the gala because of a concern for the school and students.

“She works diligently with the gala committee to put on a top-notch gala, so that we can raise top funds to support our students,” he said.

Keim and the others on the committee are dedicated members of the Bishop Carroll family, he said. They devote much time not only to raise funds to support the students, but also to recognize people who serve the school, he said.

Gala tickets can be purchased by calling the school at 472-7500, ext. 105.

Tribune-Democrat editors select a Person of the Week from nominations made by readers. To nominate someone, call 532-5058, 24 hours a day.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.