NDA Singers Perform at St. John’s Annual Fundraiser

Maxwell Timmer, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Last Saturday, November 2, St John’s Homeless Shelter held its 5th annual fundraiser, called The Gala, at the Radisson Hotel. 

Since its initiation in 2015, The Gala’s main goal is “make sure that nobody is left on the streets of Green Bay,” said Lexie Wood, the shelter’s executive director.

The Gala focuses on helping cover the annual costs of running St John’s. The sold-out event featured a VIP reception that started at 4:30 p.m. with speaker Nic Sheff from California, a general admission at 5 p.m. which featured a silent auction, raffles, t-shirt and book sales. Then the dinner was at 6:15 p.m.

 Several members of the NDA community were in attendance, including former principal Dr. John Ravizza and current principal Mr. Patrick Browne. 

“St. John’s is on people’s minds as the weather cools down and the nights seem longer,” Wood said. “It’s the time of year when people are very sensitive to the needs of the homeless.”

One of the events at The Gala was the performance of the St John’s Choir, which I was  a part of this year with three other NDA students (Elizabeth Hoeppner, Anna Zimmermann and Charlie Rickards). 

The St. John’s Choir is a mix of high school students and homeless people in the community. The director of the choir is Teresa Schimdt, a former choral director/director of musicals at both St. Joseph Academy and Notre Dame Academy.

Schimdt brings in high school students to participate because “the participants are often inexperienced singers and have trouble committing their time to any activity. Therefore, we found last year that we need ‘support singers’ for some rehearsals and and The Gala,” she explained. 

This experience opens the eyes of the choir members, including myself and other high school students, on what it means to be homeless in Green Bay. 

“I absolutely loved performing for the St. John’s Gala last year and was heartbroken over not being able to attend this year due to the IB trip to Chicago. It’s a humbling experience to understand how fortunate we are,” explained senior Mattea Vecera, who was in the choir last year.  

“This year’s choir experience was a fantastic way to impact our community and inspire future donors into St. John’s Homeless Shelter. I greatly enjoyed participating for a second year and look forward to next year’s opportunity,” said Luke Pisani, a senior at Southwest High School and the Green Bay Area Public School District Student President.