Holy Cross Ministries attempts no-show fundraiser Program helps underserved children in Summit County by providing after-school activities | ParkRecord.com

Holy Cross Ministries attempts no-show fundraiser Program helps underserved children in Summit County by providing after-school activities

SKYLER BELL, Of the Record staff

Rebeca Gonzalez, left, and Jessica Santos decorate cups at Holy Cross Ministries' after-school program. Photo: Grayson West/Park Record.

Holy Cross Ministries sent 2,500 invitations for its June black-tie fundraiser, but anyone showing up expecting food and entertainment will be disappointed.

The lights will be off, the doors will be locked and the building will likely be empty.

"Here is our gift to you," co-chairs Bob and Pat Markmann wrote on the invitation to the ‘no-show’ dinner, "you get the night off while still supporting Holy Cross Ministries. No need to plan for another function clutter your calendar or take you away from an evening with your friends and family."

Two tickets to the dinner and a tuxedo rental each cost $150, gowns range from $200 to $300 and babysitting is available for $50. Contributors can also purchase "non-clutter auction items" or give general donations.

But because the event is only taking place in the land of make-believe, contributors won’t even have to TiVo American Idol.

"This will be our first attempt at a no-show fundraiser," said Sister Suzanne Brennan, executive director of Holy Cross Ministries. "But those who know about us really value our programs, so we’re expecting a great return."

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The money will support the programs the Catholic affiliated Holy Cross Ministries have provided for underserved children and families since 1994. They include after-school academic, athletic and artistic programs, immigration legal services, counseling, and an outreach program that includes prenatal care, life-skills classes, translations, and assistance in accessing healthcare and social services.

The majority of participants are from Summit County, but programs are also established in Wasatch and Salt Lake counties along with Wendover, Utah. In Park City, there are 35-40 children from 6 to 12-years-old who participate in the after-school programs, normally held at McPolin Elementary Schoolor the Summit County Library from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Participants have the opportunity to be tutored by bilingual teachers, learn computer and video software, research family history, paint, dance, swim, play the drums or be on a soccer team.

"I like playing soccer and doing dance," 10-year-old Rebeca Gonzalez said. "You get to know people and what they like and what they like to do."

For Cinco de Mayo, the children performed dance and music routines at Ecker Hill International Middle School and McPolin Elementary.

"I was a little nervous because there were so many people there," Gonzalez said.

Locally, Holy Cross Ministries has teamed with the Park City School District to meet the needs of the participants.

"They do the academic piece in the morning and we do the afternoon part of it," Sister Mary Ann Pajakowski said. "This will be our third year partnering with them."

Alma Armendariz, director of the after-school program, said that the donations to the program help to provide the children with a place they can learn and where they won’t be home alone in the afternoon while parents are still at work.

"We don’t just want them playing video games, but to be using creativity and getting help with home work and school," she said.

Those who would like to donate or volunteer can call Sister Suzanne at (801) 908-0293 ext.23. Holy Cross Ministries is located at 2570 W. 1700 S. in Salt Lake City.