The St. Ann-St. Brendan Collaborative hopes to fill Florian Hall on the Saturday after Thanksgiving – Nov. 24 –with music, food, and raffle prizes. Organizers hope to raise between $70,000 and $100,000 to support the parish as it works to lower a debilitating debt.
Tickets are priced at $100 each; seniors aged 65 or older can pay $65 for one ticket or $100 for two.
Sheila McCarthy, an Adams Village resident and chairperson for the gala, said last week that members of the St. Ann-St. Brendan Collaborative came up with the idea for the gala just a few months ago as parishioners were meeting to strategize about the debt’s impact on the future. The post-Thanksgiving gathering is one of the action steps that have come out of the meetings.
“We decided to have this big gala as a fundraising purpose to help provide money toward the expenses and operational costs for both parishes,” said McCarthy. “We had a meeting over the summer because we are in dire need to keep up with our everyday costs, so we thought before we take out another loan with the archdiocese, maybe we can have a fundraiser.”
The night at Florian will be filled with entertainment kicked off with a performance from the Boston Police Gaelic Column and followed by a concert by Sheila Fahey and Friends. Kristen Merlin, a parishioner and top-five contestant on The Voice, will return to Dorchester to perform at the gala.
The night will also feature a silent auction and a series of raffles featuring big ticket items like sporting events or weekend trips to New Hampshire, as well as creations from local business and artisans.
McCarthy noted that she also expects a strong alumni presence at the Gala, with many — some dating back to the 1950s — already buying tickets and expressing excitement for the event.
“Everyone has been on board. We’ve gotten such positive input from everyone, so we’re really happy about that. The alumni [are] having a lot of fun with it,” McCarthy said.
“We’re really just trying to make it a fun night of just neighbors, friends, alumni, supporters, everyone coming together,” she added. “And everyone loves both these parishes, and both these parishes mean a lot, so we want to see them both stay open. That’s our plan.”