A record-breaking crowd of 670 gathered to celebrate the 38th annual MarianFEST (Funding Education in the Servite Tradition) Friday, Feb. 7, at Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capital District. MarianFEST is Marian’s largest fundraising event of the year, with proceeds benefiting tuition assistance and scholarships for students. This year’s event raised $535,000.
The theme, Mahalo Marian, was chosen to thank Marian’s community for its ongoing support. Mahalo is a Hawaiian expression of gratitude. Since 1982, FEST (Funding Education in the Servite Tradition) has raised support for tuition assistance, which now benefits 50 percent of the student body. Students also supported the event by serving as essential volunteers. A Marian choral ensemble sang the blessing and provided entertainment. Two students, who are sisters, shared how tuition assistance made it possible for them to attend Marian and the opportunities they have had because of it.
Parents serve as executive chairs of the event. This year’s chairs were:
- Sam and Jen Gregg, parents of Carley – a junior
- Steve and Lisa Gulseth, parents of Chrissy – a senior and Claire – a 2015 graduate
- Dave and Kari Kirchhoefer – parents of Payton – a senior and Kaci – a 2018 graduate
- Rick and Tricia Montague, parents of Lauren – a sophomore, and Sarah – senior
- Mark and Julie Mowat, parents of Margaret – a sophomore and Marin – a senior
- Jeff and Sue Putnam, parents of Cydney – a junior, Elle – a 2016 graduate and Liv – class of 2018
- Bob and Michele Zadalis, parents of Lauren, a senior
Mahalo to all who attended and supported MarianFEST 2020!