By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
IOWA CITY — Newman Catholic Student Center is hosting its annual gala in a hybrid format this year.
“The gala food will be good, the company fun, the auction lively, the program short and the mission a great one,” said April Rouner, Newman Center’s director of development.
The event, Blessings and Blue Jeans, will take place at Celebration Farm and online June 11 at 6 p.m. All proceeds will benefit Newman Center and its mission “to prepare disciples for our church and our world,” Rouner said.
Organizers said they have planned the in-person portion of the event with COVID-19 precautions in mind. The guest list has been reduced from 250 to 160 people for distancing purposes, all tables will be spaced six feet apart, and two sides of the venue have large doors and windows that will be opened to the outside. All windows surrounding the top half of the building will be open with large ceiling fans operating throughout the evening. Guests are encouraged to wear masks when they are not eating or drinking.
In-person guests may reserve a table for two, four, six or eight guests. Ticket price varies by table size and location and covers appetizers, meal, dessert, beverages, program, live auction access and Fund A Cause. Guests may participate in an online silent auction, and will have the opportunity to purchase cash raffle tickets in-person or online.
Virtual guests can participate from home via livestream. These guests may listen to the program and will have the opportunity to participate in online silent auction bidding, Fund A Cause and cash raffles. Virtual attendees who wish to bid on the dessert and live auction items may do so by purchasing a $75 virtual ticket.
Silent auction items will be posted online the week before the gala. Photos of live auction items will also be available.
Guests may purchase tickets, donate to the gala and view auction items at https://one.bidpal.net/ncgala2021/welcome. Sponsorship opportunities are available.
Newman Center twice postponed its 2020 Gala before hosting a virtual gala in August. “We are so excited to be able to celebrate as a Newman Center community and family again, and we welcome those both in-person and online,” Rouner said.
Newman Center is 100% self-funded through donations, grants, investment income and this special event gala.