The ball will be held Saturday, April 30, at the Le Mars Convention Center with two levels of musical entertainment along with several new features.
The theme for this year's ball is "A Toast to Tuscany."
At the Major Donor's Dinner in late March, ball chairmen Lenny and Kelly Flack and Bob and Kathy Nilles, announced the 2011 ball is all about thanking parishes, donors and the community.
The chairmen announced the 2011 honorees are St. Mary's Parish in Maurice and St. Joseph's Parish in Neptune. Both parishes joined the Gehlen Catholic family in 1961.
In 1995, St. Mary's Parish in Maurice closed.
Later this year, the Le Mars Area Catholic Cluster and the Diocese of Sioux City will say farewell to Neptune. "We hope that past and present families of both of parishes will join us as we pay tribute and express our gratitude for their support of Catholic education that evening," The chairmen said.
The couples stressed how the support from so many has reached out to Gehlen Catholic students.
"As graduates of Catholic schools, as well as Gehlen Catholic parents and chairs of this year's Friends of Gehlen Catholic Ball, words cannot adequately describe our gratitude for your support and the support of the community," Bob Nilles told the major donors. "Thanks to your gifts of time, talent, and treasures, Gehlen Catholic works to ensure that every child receives a quality Catholic and academic education from transitional kindergarten to 12th grade."
Through the past 23 years, the Friends of Gehlen Catholic Ball has raised more than $2.53 million. The Ball proceeds offset parental and parish investments annually by 10 percent, according to school officials.
The real reason the Friends of Gehlen Catholic Ball was started and continues is because of the children, Bob said.
"With our growing and diverse enrollment for the sixth year in a row, one out of two students needing help with tuition assistance, two TK sections and one preschool section planned for the 2011-2012 school year, your support of the Ball is pivotal to the success of our children and the youth of the Le Mars Area Catholic Cluster," he said.
Lenny Flack announced a change for this year's ball for the food served.
"In the past, Gehlen Catholic has been one of only a few schools in the diocese that has a buffet at their gala. This year, the students of Briar Cliff University, along with the chairmen of the Friends of Gehlen Catholic Ball, are here to serve you," Flack said.
Guests to this year's Friends of Gehlen Catholic Ball are asked to arrive during the serving times between 6:15 and 7:45 p.m. at the Convention Center.
Upon arrival, guests will be served a Tuscan dinner prepared by Timmy's Catering and treated to a coffee bar from Bellissimo's Coffee and Sandwich Works.
"It's our way of thanking each and every one of you -- our friends, parishioners and donors -- for your generosity to the Friends of Gehlen Catholic Ball," said Flack.
As in the past, the winners of the cash raffle will be drawn. Each year, 300 tickets are sold. The ball will give away $5,000; $3,000 and $2,000. Tickets are still available by contacting the school or the ball chairs.
A silent auction will also be held for the ball, with a new twist this year: advance bidding.
Individuals who are 18 years and older may make an advanced by contacting the Flacks, Nilles, or Lisa Niebuhr by phone.
Advanced bids will cease at 3 p.m. the day of the ball, so the chairmen may attend Mass.
At 6 p.m., the silent auction will continue where the advanced bidding concluded. The auction will conclude promptly at 8:15 p.m.
Individuals who have made an advanced bid but are unable to attend the ball, may make arrangements with someone attending the ball to continue bidding on their behalf, with the exception of the Flacks, Nilles and Niebuhr.
The following items are on this year's silent auction:
* Chicago Bears Package by Patrick Hodgson
* One-week stay for four to six at an international or national resort of your choice by a St. Joseph Catholic alum
* Black Hills Retreat from Dick Ahlers
* Special Evening with Friends (Prime Rib Dinner and wine for eight) by Dave & Patti Hill
* Name the Gehlen Gym and one reserved parking spot
* One time only -- seven-course gourmet meal of your choice by Chef Badar plus 12 piece china setting from Desiree Langel-Plorde
* 12 wines and wine rack from Mark Nieman and Barb Dreckman
* St. Joseph Neptune print by Roy and Lisa Tucker
* Disney credit card by Bob and Kathy Nilles
* 12 pies from Carol Kabisch
* Three chemical peels and three micro/hydrodermabrasion with a consultation by a registered nurse by Anne Oloff and The Rejuvenation Center
* Cheerleading birthday party by Coach Whitehead and the cheerleaders
* Two flower pots by Mother's Nature
* Motorola Xoom Tablet, accessories and Verizon 3G Coverage courtesy of Patrick Hodgson, Motorola, and Wireless World
* Flag that has flown over Afghanistan and Iraq by Jason Kinney
* King's Pointe stay and water park passes
* Two rosaries blessed by Pope Benedict with the Rome insignia by Denny and Sharon Dorr.
After the program, the ball will again have two floors of entertainment and dancing.
New this year is The Final Mix Show Band, which will perform on the lower level. As in the past, Magic Moments by Patrick (Shearon) will perform on the upper level.
At the major donors dinner, Dick Ahlers, president of the Gehlen Catholic Schools Endowment Fund said "With all the turmoil in the world (war, famine, poverty), nothing has the solution like Christian values and principles. These values and principles are taught at Gehlen Catholic School today. Therefore, there is no better place to invest your dollars than in Christian education."
Tickets are on sale and donations are being accepted by contacting the Flacks, Nilles, Erv or Lisa Whitehead, Kerry or Sheri Rowe, Mike and Jennifer Macklem, Anne Rust, or by calling the school at 546-4181.