Scotus annual gala a success

April 10, 2019

Last year’s annual gala held at Scotus Central Catholic High School was marked by a blizzard. This year, it was a thunderstorm.

And as the rain poured and thunder bellowed outside, more than 400 guests stayed warm and dry at the school’s 38th annual gala on Saturday evening. This year’s theme was ‘A Night at Castle Shamrock’ and was full of volunteers dressed in medieval attire.

The fundraiser was intended to support the school’s general fund and balance its budget. John Schueth, development director at Scotus Central Catholic High School, said without the money raised from the gala, tuition would most likely have to be raised by $500 per student.

More than 100 volunteers came together to put on the event with several special guests in attendance. And while Gov. Pete Ricketts was unable to attend like he did last year, U.S. Congressman Jeff Fortenberry was scheduled to make an appearance.

Each year, the school asks gala guests to contribute funds for a special project. This year, funds are going toward purchasing a trailer which will be turned into a mobile STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) Lab made available for use by all Catholic grade schools in Columbus. Scotus started its STEAM Lab last year, full of 3-D printers and virtual reality goggles.

“We have noticed a great deal of enthusiasm among our kids,” Schueth said about STEAM. “And we want to take that kind of stuff to our grade schools.”

Several Scotus students showcased seven tables worth of STEAM equipment for guests to view at the event’s silent auction. Lucas Schaecher is a senior at Scotus and ran the VR station. Four laptops were set up with Oculus Rifts including goggles and handheld controllers. These can be used to play various video games, with one such program allowing a person to feel like he or she is an astronaut on a space station.

“They allow you to feel way more immersed in the game. You really feel like you’re there,” Schaecher said. “There are a lot of fun opportunities and there are a lot of learning opportunities.”

Another station was run by Scotus Senior Braden Labenz. He helped to showcase the school’s 3D printers. The booth also had several 3-D printed student-made trinkets for sale, such as plastic coins and sculptures. One of the printers at the event Labenz brought from home. He used it to make a white plastic belt, taking 24 hours to fully print.

“It’s a lot of fun to be creative and to do what you want to do,” Labenz said about the 3-D printers.

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.