Established in 2019, the purpose of the Viking Gala fundraising event is to raise funds for district-wide grant distributions. The profits generated will be available to all staff, faculty and programs to apply for grants for use as they see fit. The funds will be used to enhance the classroom or program experience, including but not limited to classroom necessities, or club programs like drama, speech or robotics.
When a dozen highly motivated hustlers get together, they can make big things happen. That’s exactly how the Viking Gala got its start. In early 2019, a group of nearly a dozen women, some teachers, some day care providers, some mothers, some friends, some friends of friends, got together and started the brain storming process of what is now passionately called the Viking Gala. The group held monthly meetings to figure out the logistics of the who, what, when, where and why of the event and set the date and location; Saturday evening of homecoming weekend and at the local VFW. The group was optimistic that the new event center in the basement would be finished, and it did not disappoint.
The evening itinerary was set – a delicious catered meal from Elmos Restaurant, games, silent auction and live auction; then the fundraising efforts started. “Since this was the first year for the event, we were starting at ground zero. No slush fund to get the ball rolling. We needed to get some monetary sponsorships in the bank before we could even afford to order tickets for the event or start to advertise,” said Jess Fahje, event chairperson. “Once donations started coming in and we were making great strides on the event, we were contacted by Brian Korf, Derrick Nelson and Doug Bruggeman of the PRHS. They had been working on getting the ground work started for a Pelican Rapids Hall of Fame and Teacher Recognition program. Combining the Viking Gala with the Hall of Fame recognition into one event seemed logical and a win-win for both events.”
The Viking Gala mission is simple: to raise funds for district-wide grant distributions. The profits generated will be available to all staff, faculty and programs to apply for grants for use as they see fit for the children's education. The funds requested will be used by faculty to enhance the classroom or program experience, including but not limited to classroom necessities, or club programs like drama, speech or robotics. Examples would be new seating in reading corners, band equipment, new curriculum, new books and Virtual Reality goggles, to name a few.
To kick off this first year event, the money raised was allocated to make the final payment for the sound cloud for the new Fine Arts wing of the High School. “Having a high end sound cloud in our auditorium is huge for our community. It opens up several opportunities for other concerts, bands and musicians to utilize our facility and something we can turn around and charge attendance for.”
“Our focus for this first year was to make it a fun, enjoyable event that people talked about on Monday morning,” according to Lana Grefsrud, Viking Gala volunteer. “Raising significant funds is a challenge, especially with several other community events that happen this time of year. I think if we can make it an memorable experience, that word spreads and it can build each year after.” The Viking Gala planned a handful of games for the evening; Plinko, Rip the Card, Heads or Tales and Black Jack to name a few, as well as having a silent auction and live auction. All of our prizes and auction items were generously donated by local residences and businesses. “We can’t say Thank You enough to the community for their generosity to the event. It is because of all your big hearts that we can call our event a success.”
After the dinner and Hall of Fame presentations and teacher recognition, Loren Seifert of Seifert Auction Company took the mic to get the ball rolling on our live auction. The event ran well into the evening hours and a great time was had by all who attended.
The Viking Gala committee is already starting their brain storming meetings for next years event. If you have interest in joining the committee, please reach out to a committee member.