Last week this column space was dedicated to “what’s going on” with the Annual Pastor Appeal and a new parish communications system, Flocknote. There was enough to say that it took up the whole page, but there is still a lot more “going on.”
Destination: True North Fun-raiser. There is more information in this bulletin about the event on page 4. I would so like you to be there – and, trust me, you want to be there. Last year was so much fun. It was great to see the marvelous cross section of our parish there – from the Young Professionals to “seasoned” Professionals, the young families to the empty nesters, and every other way you might think about parishioners. Even some of our more mature, experienced parishioners were there – and they were able to enjoy the full range of the ship because there is an elevator!
The event takes place on the Yacht Starship, the largest and queen of the Starship fleet, Tampa Bay’s premier luxury cruise options for events, dinner cruises, celebrations, wedding receptions, and more. There is a Princess Cruise on March 7 (not my thing, but your daughter or granddaughter…?) and a MacDill Airfest cruise at the end of March. Now, you might be thinking, what is the pastor doing promoting Starship. A little unusual to be sure, but it is so little given than Troy and Jill Manthey, owners and parishioners, have donated the ship, the libations, the dinner, the DJ, and so much more to this event. Their purpose was to support the parish and to help grow the funds available for developing the North Campus. It is an amazing gift and we are trying to build upon that foundation and have fun at the same time.
The having fun is easy and needs no explanation. Just come and be part of it. The fundraising part is a new endeavor for us and we are trying to “step up our game!” You already have seen one of the efforts – the Diamond Raffle, offering a one week stay at a premier condominium at Clearwater Beach. Speaking of that, we had the drawing at last week’s 9 a.m. Mass – with Sam Ferlita, parishioner and CPA, verifying that all the tickets were present (hey, it was Academy Awards week). Parishioners Dan and Florelle Barron were the winners! Through the generosity of the donor, we are pleased to announce there is now a second week-long stay available for Diamond Raffle 2. Tickets will be available at all the masses this weekend.
As in previous years, we will have silent auction items available. We use a fundraising mobile app from Qtego to list all our items. This opens the opportunity for people at the event, as well as those who are not able to be there. Everyone can participate and support the fundraising efforts. And!! there are some great items in the auction: beach condominiums, mountain house in North Carolina, premier seating at Christmas and Easter masses, yoga with Fr. Zack, Florida Aquarium packages plus an array of hotel and restaurant certificates and more. One of the special items is a “behind the scenes” guided tour of the Children’s Gasparilla Parade – special access and golf-cart escort. Lots of great things and you can sign up with Qtego today to be ready to bid and support the parish in a fun and exciting way.
There also will be a live auction on the evening of the event. Some of those items include an evening with Fr. Zack and the Fine Scotch Whiskies of Scotland (a presentation and sampling), private tours of the Church and Dome with Fr. George, dinner with the Friars, cocktail party on the friary rooftop and more.
For the first time we are offering Sponsorships for the event. It is a way for the community to support the parish and also receive recognition for their support. The recognition consists of a prominent “thank you” in the parish bulletin, promotion on our Facebook page, and signage at the event itself. Information on the different levels of sponsorship and benefits are available here.
The event Presenting Sponsors are The Manthey Family and Yacht Starship, but other benefactors include Fred and Lesley Dobbins, The Florida Aquarium, John and Melinda Marian, Jonathan Fanning Photography, Pastry-Ology, and 1708 Lake, LLC. If you or your organization/company are interested, reach out to Pam Ferron at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of this goes to help fund our efforts at the North Campus. The first phase of the efforts includes preliminary master plan and the design of a new fence for the property to enhance and beautify the grounds (we refer to this as the “curb appeal” project). We have finished the conceptual design and this coming week will present the cost proposal to Bishop Parkes for permission to move ahead. God willing and the river don’t rise, we hope to have that part of the project finished by the end of July. In the meantime, we hope to see you on the Yacht Starship. Thank you for your ongoing support of our True North vision. For everything you need to know for Destination: True North-Feb. 28, check out our parish webpage! See you there!