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Ave Maria dives ‘Under the Sea’ during annual gala

PLUM CITY – The splendor of a magical evening charmed guests on March 12, with the swimmingly successful “Under the Sea” Ave Maria Academy Gala 2022. Schools of fish hud dled in bundles of assorted seaweed while antiqued sea-portals hung from the walls. Hallways provided a walk-through visual of the deep waters of the sea with colorful coral bushels while unique light-up jellyfish filled the room, creating a distinctive, underwater look.

Of course, this enchanting night wouldn’t be complete without the striking mermaid and treasure chest scene.

The tables adorned with antiqued- white napkins boasted spectacular center-piece assortments, some of which held live fish. Photos of Ave Maria Academy students brought life throughout the halls, a personal touch appreciated by all. New this year was a wall dedicated to two instrumental men who played a huge part in the founding of Ave Maria Academy; although they have passed, Joseph Wieser and Lawrence Bechel will live on forever through their example and dedication to Ave Maria Academy.

The magical evening started with appetizers sampled by guests as they toured the event’s locale, Molly’s on Main. Appetizers included fruit platters shaped as turtles, pirate ships, and clam shells; veggie platters with a luscious homemade dip, crabwiches, sand dollars with a delectable seaweed dip, seaweed spirals, and cucumbers with a bite of smoked salmon, topped with a creamy dill dip, served by the school’s very own middle school class. With a variety of wine donated by Eau Galle Cheese Factory, the wine tasting was a popular stop as guests enjoyed their appetiz- ers. Topping this ou was din ner, organized by Chef Paul, comprised of herb and rich cheesy biscuits, a creamy broccoli salad topped with dried cranberries, a delightful crab salad, cracked green beans garnished with assorted nuts, fresh tilapia glazed with a delicious beurre blanc sauce, sun-dried tomato ba- sil stuued pork with a white wine cream sauce, and a heavenly wild rice pilaf.

Guests finished ou this delightful meal with a wide variety of desserts from Bo-Jo’s Creations in Ellsworth.

Desserts included treasure chest brownies, oyster cookies with a sweet cream, almond butter pearls, sea salt caramel turtles, peanut butter crabby patties, and dainty coral reef critter cookies.

Guests rallied to the silent auction, including classroom creations. The students’ crafts this year consisted of a unique wooden piano decoration with a symbolic message, decorated height growth rulers, and hand-painted satellite yardart pieces. Other quaint silent auction items included baskets stuued with favorite kitchen or outside gadgets.

Bidding wars for desired silent auction items ended as the live auction began.

Fred Winkler, our amazing auctioneer, enjoyed his time with the live auction bidding wars. Some popular live auction items included: A mixed ¼ beef, donated by Todd and Billy Mark; a wooden redi-mixer truck, donated by Dan Nowak; Community Crust’s pizza catering, a two-hour plan ride with Andy Wieser, and four hours of skid steer or backhoe time at your location by Deja’ Vu Trucking. Also on the live auction were a hand-crafted Plinko bottle opener made and donated by Brad Sonntag, a popular mystery quilt by Mary T. Wieser and quilted by Designs by Dianne, an outdoor griddle donated by Plum City Hardware, and an autographed Packers football donated by the Green Bay Packers. Once again, the “Gardeners for the Day ‘’ returned with Pete Helmueller and Dan Wieser. Additionally, there was a mosaic turtle donated and crafted by Gayle Nissen, a stainless-steel 20– foot flag pole with a United States flag and your favorite team flag made and donated by Chris Princko of Princko Welding, four Green Bay Packer tickets donated by the Green Bay Packer Service, a deeply flavored Mangalit sa pig donated by Sean and Katie Stoudt with processing paid for by Tyler and Saman- tha Hilsgen, a 11.5 inch filet knife crafted and donated by Nick Mesenbourg of NDM Knives, and a gorgeous 4-by-4 barn quilt painted by Billi Jo Steele. Lastly, a 33-by-11-by-4.5 walnut shaker clock crafted and donated by Dan Nowak, a Hunter’s Dream Lap quilt donated and crafted by Dianne Lecheler, a human-equine connection session donated by Lisa Kuchinski, and finally a handcrafted brass kaleidoscope by John Peterson wrapped up the live auction.

Numbers for this night aren't finalized, but the to tal will exceed $100,000!

Parents, teachers, students, and many others are tremendously grateful for this evening, and the support for the school!

Ave Maria Academy is a private school teaching in the Catholic traditions. For more information, contact 715-647-4630. We are currently accepting registrations for the 2022/2023 school year for 3-year-old preschool through eighth grade.

Submitted by Lillian Pullen, Ave Maria Academy eighth grade student

Parents of Ave Maria Academy students had fun dressing up in the “Under the Sea” theme for the annual gala held March 12 at Molly’s on Main in Plum City. Pictured are (from left) Aletha Pullen, Angie Bocksell, LeAnn Coss and Crystal Books. Photo courtesy of Mary Wieser

BoJo’s Creations donated “Under the Sea” desserts to the annual Ave Maria Academy gala, held March 12. Photo courtesy of Mary Wieser

Suzie and Scott Brunner made this sea life mural from bottle caps. It was on display at the Ave Maria Academy “Under the Sea” gala on March 12. Photo courtesy of Mary Wieser

April 26, 2022