PRINCETON -- What does a Catholic school in the small town of Princeton, Wis., have in common with the large southern city of New Orleans, La.?
St. John the Baptist School in Princeton believes it shares with New Orleans "a great love for our way of life and a desire to preserve it for future generations," says St. John School parent Mary Soda.
"St. John is a nurturing environment, based on Catholic values, respect for life, and serving others. We have small class sizes, high curriculum standards, and more spirit than you can pack into a Mardi Gras Parade," she said.
Restaurateur helps school
People at St. John the Baptist School also share a love of good food with the people of New Orleans. And they are fortunate to have a local restaurateur who is connected to the school.
George Vorvoulious formerly owned a restaurant in Chicago and now lives in the nearby Green Lake area, where he does catering. Vorvoulious is the grandfather of two students at St. John School.
"Last year he approached us and suggested doing a dinner. We said, 'Let's do it,'" said Soda.
Last year the school sponsored a Greek-themed dinner and silent auction. This year they decided to go with a New Orleans theme.
"George is cooking the dinner. He's just a great guy. We couldn't pull it off without him," said Soda.
"A Night in New Orleans" will be held on Saturday, Oct. 10, at St. John School, honoring both the school and New Orleans.
In keeping with the theme, the dinner will feature foods inspired by New Orleans and American cuisine. It will be served as a tapas party, providing a unique way to taste many foods.
Donations for raffle, auction
Interested individuals and businesses are invited to donate gifts for the raffle and silent auction, including new merchandise, gift certificates, theater and sporting event tickets, crafts or handmade gifts, and talents or services. Donations will receive recognition in the auction program. Financial gifts and volunteer help are also appreciated.
All proceeds will be used for St. John the Baptist School. Specifically this year's gala hopes to raise money for updating classroom-based technology and enhancing learning through outside educational experiences.
St. John School provides Catholic education for four-year-old kindergarten through grade eight. It is accredited by the Wisconsin Religious and Independent Schools Accreditation (WRISA).
To send donations or for more information, go to the school's Web site at www.stjohnprince.org or contact Mary Soda at 920-295-3078 or