KEEP­ING THE FAITH

Saint An­drew “fun­raiser” lights up Cape for five days

RSWLiving - - CONTENTS - Joe Yapello is a con­tribut­ing writer for TOTI Me­dia.

Saint An­drew "fun­raiser" lights up Cape for five days

When Saint An­drew Catholic School opened its doors in Au­gust of 1989 un­der the lead­er­ship of then-Pas­tor Father Tim­o­thy Mur­phy, Prin­ci­pal Sis­ter El­iz­a­beth Dunn and a ded­i­cated team of Sinsi­nawa Do­mini­can Sis­ters, the mis­sion was “Build­ing Faith, Hearts and Minds.” It ini­tially en­rolled 80 stu­dents from kinder­garten through third grade.

Nearly 30 years later, that mis­sion re­mains the bedrock upon which the faith com­mu­nity has grown and flour­ished. The school ex­panded through eighth grade in 1991 and con­structed new class­rooms, ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices, a cafe­te­ria and com­puter lab. Its stu­dent pop­u­la­tion reached 389. Seven years later, more than 500 stu­dents would call Saint An­drew home. More re­cent mile­stones in­clude the ad­di­tion of a TV stu­dio in the me­dia cen­ter, the “My Refuge” sculp­ture pre­sented by renowned artist Ti­ité Ba­quero, and an open-air pavilion for bas­ket­ball and other out­door events.

Its in­au­gu­ral fundraiser fes­ti­val was held on church and school grounds in 1992 to raise funds to fur­ther the mis­sion, build ex­tracur­ric­u­lar pro­grams and of­fer fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to fam­i­lies. “Saint An­drew Catholic School has re­ceived count­less ben­e­fits from our an­nual fes­ti­val,” Father Gor­don Zanetti, par­ish ad­min­is­tra­tor, proudly states. “Not only does our school profit, but the Cape Coral com­mu­nity as a whole ben­e­fits. Those who att end see how our fundraiser fes­ti­val en­hances all of Cape Coral liv­ing!”

Il­lu­mi­nat­ing Cape Coral nights for five days each Jan­uary has been a tra­di­tion in the city ever since. From both di­rec­tions on Del Prado Boule­vard, from nearby neigh­bor­hoods and Veter­ans Park­way over­pass near the in­ter­sec­tion, church and school grounds trans­form into the city’s main fo­cal point. You can’t miss the mas­sive car­ni­val rides, live en­ter­tain­ment, amaz­ing food— and an­tic­i­pa­tion about the $10,000 raf­fle and silent auc­tion—all set to as­sist the faith com­mu­nity’s goal of up­lift­ing its fam­i­lies and stu­dents while con­tin­u­ing to honor its core mis­sion.

Saint An­drew Catholic School’s prin­ci­pal, Dr. Judi Hughes, ex­plains that funds raised by the fes­ti­val are an in­te­gral part of sup­port­ing the school’s creative method of teach­ing, known as STREAM. Ini­ti­ated school­wide in 2014, it stands for Science, Tech­nol­ogy, Re­li­gion, En­gi­neer­ing, Art and Math.

“STREAM is the in­te­gra­tion of re­li­gion and art into the STEM ed­u­ca­tional con­cept,” she says. “Our chil­dren need to be able to in­quire, think, in­ves­ti­gate and in­no­vate. This method sup­ports the ac­qui­si­tion of th­ese life­long skills pre­par­ing our stu­dents for suc­cess­ful ca­reers in the 21st cen­tury. It’s also had a pos­i­tive im­pact on aca­demic achieve­ment, as well as in­creased per­for­mance on stan­dard­ized tests.”

The im­pact that the an­nual fes­ti­val has on the church com­mu­nity, school and the en­tire city can’t be un­der­stated. A heart­felt in­vi­ta­tion is ex­tended to all to at­tend and sup­port the Saint An­drew 27th An­nual Fes­ti­val—to en­sure keep­ing the faith and honoring the mis­sion.

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