Enjoy spaghetti dinner, bingo and more this Saturday
If you want to enjoy a great spaghetti dinner while contributing to a worthy cause, you won’t want to miss Saturday’s Tech Trek at Nativity Grade School.
The fundraiser was launched five years ago when then first-year teacher and Indiana University graduate Marissa Garza noticed that the school’s technology resources were almost nonexistent. Garza had just completed her student teaching and was used to at least having an LCD projector, which the school didn’t have.
“We were making the most of what we had, but the need was there for much more,” she said.
Knowing that something had to be done to advance the school technologically, she teamed with fellow educator Katie Jones to launch Tech Trek, which would raise funds to purchase much-needed items. They approached Principal Terri Bianchini with their idea and were given the green light.
“She was incredibly supportive and agreed that technology was an area that needed improvement as indicated by parents via a survey,” said Garza, who along with Jones is a graduate of Roncalli.
In addition to dinner, the event features bingo, a bake sale, arts and crafts, raffles, a student art exhibit and the popular pie throwing contest, which features teachers as the targets.
“I like Tech Trek for several reasons,” Bianchini said. “It’s a homegrown idea, and there is a lot of volunteer work. They (Garza and Jones) saw what they needed and wanted, and they went after it. They plan all of it, and there are a great group of teachers who help them. The response has been good. It’s always a well-attended event.”
The gala runs from 6-8:30 p.m. at the school, 3310 S. Meadow Drive, off the 7300 block of Southeastern Avenue, with dinner being served from 6-7:30 p.m.
“The spaghetti and meat sauce is excellent; so is the salad and garlic bread,” said Garza, and she should know. The meal will be prepared by her aunt MJ Stallings, who will use her special recipe. The cost is $5 per child, $7 per adult, $25 per family. Tickets are available at the door.
Garza and Jones, who teach fourth- and fifth-graders, respectively, said it takes about 20 volunteers, mostly fellow teachers and family members, to pull off the affair. “We started planning in January, and April is really a busy time, but we have some helpers who ensure the event goes as planned.
The duo recalled organizing their first Tech Trek and commented, “We were terrified at first because it was so much work; we didn’t know how much money we would raise. We didn’t know if it would be worth the trouble.”
Those worries have evaporated as the event has raised $21,610 since its inception. The money has been used to purchase LCD projectors for each room and iPads, as well as to build a fund that is used to replace bulbs and update the equipment when necessary.
Garza and Jones would like to see that amount go over $25,000 after Saturday. “We want to do so much more,” Garza said.
“This year the funds will go toward providing each classroom with a document camera (a newer version of an overhead projector),” Jones said. “We are so grateful for the support of the Nativity community over the past four years. We hope that this year can be just as successful. Passion and dedication can transform a dream into reality.”