Small Talk: Sacred Heart’s Mardi Gras Gala celebrates 23 years
by Annette Maddox
Special to The Star
Feb 03, 2013 | 1787 views |  0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
What do you call an event that has been a February staple in this area for more than two decades? You call that the Sacred Heart Mardi Gras Gala, celebrating its 23rd year on Feb. 23 at the Anniston City Meeting Center. From its humble beginnings in the old Sacred Heart School cafeteria on McCall Drive to its pack-the-house status now, the gala appears to be here to stay.

The Gala, which benefits Sacred Heart School, will feature an open bar, a huge buffet from Classic Catering, entertainment from Gadsden’s Daybreakk Band and Show and exciting casino games.

New this year is the “iPad Pop.” Balloons — each one containing a number — will be sold for $20 each at the gala; only one will contain the winning number. At a designated time, everyone will pop their balloons, and the winner will receive an iPad mini. (Note to self: Bring earplugs.) Gala chairperson Tracie Kerper is excited about this fun addition to the event.

The Mardi Gras Gala would not be complete without its always-fabulous silent auction, which is expected to attract fierce (but friendly, of course) bidding again this year. Silent auction chair Noreen Pettit has much-needed help from Tanya Sexton, Sandy Rothwell, Karen Terry, Tia Barr, Julie Edwards and Anna Allen. Also, back by popular demand, Sacred Heart School students are donating themed baskets — Relaxation, Summertime Fun, School Spirit and Gift Card — for the silent auction.

Sandy Rothwell and her decorating posse — Sonya Oblena, Linda Williams, Miranda Harmon-Sparks, Candice Taylor, Judy Myers, Robie Grana, Holly Doktor, Dawn and Tom Wilczek, John Deno, Ted Heathcock and Heather and Tony Clark — will have you thinking you’re in the heart of the French Quarter (instead of northeast Alabama) with flourishes of purple, gold and green throughout the venue.

Other committee chairs hard at work on the Gala are PTO President Tia Barr; Treasurer Anna Allen; Publicity Chair Dawn Wilczek; Corporate Sponsors Chair Carol Gohlke; Menu Chair Julie Edwards; and Casino Games Chair Trish Petry.

As in years past, Sacred Heart elementary school children are doing projects (headed up by new art teacher Dovie Luckado) in art class to be featured in a live auction at the gala. Father Bryan Lowe, the pastor at Sacred Heart, will be the auctioneer.

While the Mardi Gras Gala celebrates its 23rd year, Sacred Heart School will commemorate its 60th anniversary with a display of photographs on loan from past students. (Note No. 2 to self: Dig out 1970s Sacred Heart photos.)

Another “back-by-popular-demand” feature at the gala: Sacred Heart School’s very own show choir Forte, will entertain with a short performance during dinner. These kids are very impressive and have been performing around town and in Birmingham. Take that, “Glee.”

Doors to the Gala open at 6:30 p.m., and the event concludes at the stroke of midnight.

Tickets ($60 per person in advance or $80 per person at the door) are available after all masses at Sacred Heart Church; at Sacred Heart School (256-237-4231) at McClellan from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday; at BB&T Bank, 1111 Quintard Ave. (next to post office); and at Tyson’s Fine Wine and Things in Golden Springs.

To share your news with Small Talk, contact Annette Maddox at

Save the Date

Save the date, save money and help save animals’ lives at S.A.V.E.’s mega-yard sale, a fundraiser for the organization’s low-cost spay and neuter program, Saturday, March 2 from 7 a.m.-noon in the parking lot at Dormon and Reynolds (corner of 12th Street and Leighton Avenue) in Anniston.
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Small Talk: Sacred Heart’s Mardi Gras Gala celebrates 23 years by Annette Maddox
Special to The Star

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