Mardi Gras Ball on Feb. 1 at Vail Christian High School |

Mardi Gras Ball on Feb. 1 at Vail Christian High School

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Thomas H. Green/Special to the DailyIt's Father Jude Geilenkirchen, John and Ben Krueger donning Mardi Gras wigs.

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Guests from every valley community and all walks of life will come to the Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch on Friday, Feb. 1, for the 8th annual Mardi Gras Ball. The Mardi Gras Ball is a lavish cocktail dinner dance and auction that raises much-needed funds for Vail Christian High School (VCHS) and St. Clare of Assisi Elementary School in Edwards.

The event is a unique collaboration between the two privately-funded schools.

“Our approach is to gather the individuals and businesses that support our schools, and to work for the best possible result, with funds being divided equally among the schools after the event,” said Adam Leseur, St. Clare parent and co-chair of this year’s event. “Monies raised go directly to the operating funds of the schools. Our schools are healthy and growing, thanks in large part to the Mardi Gras Ball,” Leseur continued.

The schools enjoy a symbiotic relationship; both provide Christian-based education, and the schools are located directly across the street from one another. The collaboration offers a partnered fit for families seeking continuity in Christian education from kindergarten through high school. The schools also work for ethnic and socio-economic diversity, with as many as 20 percent Hispanic students enrolled annually.

“The Mardi Gras is a real team effort”, said Kim Schramm, VCHS parent and Mardi Gras co-chair. Parents solicit live and silent auction items, sponsorships and other support, and assist with the production of the event.

“Our students are also very involved, from class art projects that have fetched up to $10,000 at the auction, to volunteer hours donated both within our community and beyond. Both schools teach the children that you have to give in order to receive,” said Schramm.

All this hard work pays off. In 2007, when final receipts were totaled, the Mardi Gras Ball raised over $300,000. This equates to $800-$1000 per student going toward to the schools’ operation.

The black”tie optional event is well known as a fabulous and colorful celebration. “We go all out when it comes to decor, dining, dancing and entertainment, and the Mardi Gras theme creates a fun, festive atmosphere,” said Megan Green, who has attended the event annually since its inception, with roles ranging from guest to volunteer to chairperson.

Auction items include a “Madonna and Child” custom oil painting, Lasik eye surgery, a fur coat, trips to La Costa Spa, Wisp Rock, Ariz. and St. Barth’s, a slumber party for 20 at Two Elk, and much more.

“Support for Mardi Gras continues to amaze us”, said Mike King, VCHS principal, “Our supporters extend well beyond the parents to local businesses and even resort guests who come out to have a good time. We appreciate every single donation to our cause.”

Tickets to the Mardi Gras Ball are available for $150 each, and tables are still available for purchase.

Tickets will also be sold at the door on Feb. 1, but organizers recommend you make your reservations early, because the event typically sells out.

Contact Adam Leseur at or Kim Schramm at to make your reservations.

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