A night to remember

Ella Schulte, News Writer

Fun, food and festivities. Xavier’s annual fundraiser, Dancing with the Saints, will be held on January 19 at the DoubleTree Hotel & Convention Center, located in downtown Cedar Rapids.

The fourth season’s live event is structured similarly to an episode of Dancing with the Stars. It is also the school’s main source of fundraising via exclusive online donations. The proceeds raised go to support students and faculty at Xavier.

Those 21 years of age or older are able to purchase tickets to the event, where they will watch contestants of the Xavier community, such as parents and alumni, who are paired with local dance professionals. Together, each team is given the task of rehearsing a piece that will be performed during the event in front of a panel of guest judges and nearly 1,000 attendees.

The judging panel includes Cedar Rapids based dancer, teacher and choreographer: Alvon Reed, a 2000 graduate of Xavier High School: Maria (Johnson) Drees, former Iowa Hawkeye quarterback: James Vandenberg, and current broadcaster of the Iowa Hawkeye Sports Network, Gary Dolphin.

This season’s dancers come from a variety of backgrounds; many are alumni or the parents of children who were or currently are enrolled in the Xavier Catholic School System.

“I’ve been dancing since I was seven years old and out of my 32 years, this is one of the most supportive environments I’ve ever danced in,” Xavier theology teacher and professional dance coach Mrs. Erica Ireland said. “The environment that happens the night of Dancing with the Saints is unparalleled.”

Donations from previous seasons have enabled Xavier to purchase new vehicles for transportation, sound systems and uniforms for a variety of activities offered at the school.

Mrs. Ireland said the there is an evident difference in the students when they are wearing something that’s new and hasn’t been worn for 20 years.

This year’s contributions will be used to improve the school’s tuition assistance program, as well as Xavier faculty and staff recompenses.

“The things that we can do with the kinds of funds raised are things that the normal budget just can’t handle,” Xavier President Tom Keating said. “We’ve been really happy with the event and it’s not only a fundraiser, but a great social night for the Xavier community.”

Keating also mentioned that the event is a great way to connect and reconnect, stating that seeing a large portion of the Xavier community gathered together at one time gives him the chance to interact with parents, alumni and pastors.

Those in attendance are invited to partake in an evening of cocktails, dinner, live performances, dancing, music and much more.

Made possible by parent volunteers, sponsors and generous donations, this event allows for the continuation of a school anchored in God’s grace. Voting will remain open through the end of the live event on Saturday, but tickets are sold out.
News Writer