Marian Central Celebrates ‘60+ 2’
Patricia SzPekowski, Observer Correspondent
April 21, 2022
HARVARD—The energy and camaraderie was high as close to 300 people gathered for a multi-faceted “diamond” annual dinner auction held at the Starline Factory in Harvard on April 9.
It took two additional years for parents, staff, guests, and alum to celebrate the 60th anniversary year for the founding of Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock in 1960.
“We are so happy to hold this event after a two-year pause because of the pandemic and like to call this celebration our ‘60th anniversary plus two,’ ” said Kaitlin Bordeaux, Marian Central’s admissions and development director. 
The environment in the restored Starline Factory building brought its own ambiance with its exposed brick, oversize windows, 10-foot long vaulted skylights, wood beams, and thousands of café string lights. 
While guests enjoyed dinner, live entertainment was provided by Michael Stoinski, known as “Stu, The Piano Guy.” 
The social evening featured a variety of activities and was hosted by this year’s emcee, Jen Lada, a 1998 school alum and inductee into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.  Professionally, Lada is a sports Emmy-winning reporter and host for ESPN. 
As live auctioneer Carl Luebchau hawked the attributes of ten items including premier Marian Central graduation seats and parking spots; a Chicago Bears Dan Hampton jersey; a private chef dinner or cooking class; a custom epoxy garage floor; and tickets to any college sports game, guests bid on the items and coaxed friends to support Marian Central.
Once the excitement of the live auction was completed, guests partook in a heads/tails game, a silent auction, several raffle drawings, and various casino table games to raise funds for the school.
Matt Kirchner, parent and  event volunteer, talked about the value and importance of a faith-based education at Marian Central. 
“I am a 1998 graduate of Marian and currently have a sophomore at the school this year,” Kirchner said. “Next year I’ll have another child entering as a freshman. I love the fact that my children can attend a school where they learn about their faith and character-building in a stable environment. I’m happy to help tonight.”
“As we surpass our goal of raising $100,000 for our school,” said Bordeaux, “we are pleased that all proceeds from this fundraising event will directly benefit Marian Central families in need of tuition assistance.”
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