St. Simon’s 15th Annual Royal Extravaganza
Writer / Suzanne Huntzinger
The crowds of guests arrive adorned in everything from beach bum chic, disco dancing wear, pirate duds, western/cowboy costumes and even Mardi Gras costumes. It seems like a giant Halloween party for grown-ups. But this party trumps Halloween! It’s time for St. Simon’s 15th Annual Royal Extravaganza. The date is set for Saturday, October 18 at the parish.
The Royal Extravaganza is held each fall and is one of St. Simon’s largest fundraising events; the other is St. Simon Festival in June. The extravaganza usually draws between 400 and 500 guests, and this year promises to be no exception.
For the 15th annual event, the event co-chairs, Jennifer Keller and Mary Williams, wanted to plan a special, unforgettable evening, one like they’ve never had before. The theme for the 2014 Royal Extravaganza is “The Royal Ball.” “In the past we almost always did costume type themes, which is always fun. But this year we want it to be special and different,” Keller said. “We’ve never done this before. This time, formal and black tie are strongly encouraged,” she added.
Special is exactly what the committee is delivering. The extravaganza kicks off with a silent auction at 6 p.m., followed by dinner served at 8 p.m. The open-bar is available from 6 to 11:30 p.m. The silent auction closes at 8:30 p.m., and the live auction begins at 9:00 p.m. Guests can enjoy the tunes of one of Indy’s favorite pop, rock, bluegrass, R&B cover bands, “My Yellow Rickshaw,” beginning at 9 p.m. “We’re very excited to announce that this year, for the first time ever, we will be having a Bling Ring Raffle sponsored by Distinctive Diamonds,” Keller said.
Keller says there is so much to plan for an event of this magnitude, “We give ourselves almost a full year to plan the Extravaganza.” The Royal X committee is made up of more than 20 parishioners who work throughout the year securing donations and sponsors, as well as working with vendors and coordinating a large number of volunteers to help during the week of the event setting up and much more. “One thing that can never be questioned is our passion and dedication to this event. We pour 110 percent of ourselves in to making it happen and do not stop until it is done. None of this is possible without the countless hours that our committee gives to this event. It is always so heartwarming to see people using their talents and strengths for such a good cause,” Keller added.
It’s no wonder the event takes a year to plan. The money raised goes to fund more than 30 ministries within the parish, like Adult Religious Education, Children’s Religious Education, The Lord’s Pantry and St. Vincent de Paul. “We do it for our sister parish in Haiti, to help fund medical missions and to send clothing and other necessities to them. We do it for our own children of St. Simon School, where a portion of the proceeds from the event help with the many programs that we offer for them. We do it so that we can use the talents that God has given us to help others,” Keller said.
Keller explained she became involved just two years ago. “I have attended many of the past Royal Extravaganzas, and I still remember the first one. My husband and I have been involved, mostly behind the scenes. It wasn’t until 2012 that I decided to officially join the committee. After my first year volunteering, I decided I would like to try my hand at chairing the event. I teamed up with one of the most amazing women I know, Mary Williams, and this is our second year of chairing the event together. There is no one else I would rather do this with,” Keller said.
The event is open to the public, so you may want to get your tickets early. Tickets are available for purchase on the event’s website. The cost is $70 per person, and it goes up to $80 per person after Oct. 4. Seniors ages 55 and up can get their tickets for $50 per person, or $60 per person after Oct. 4. If you’re a last minute planner, that’s OK. You can walk in the night of event, and those tickets are $100 per person. One ticket price covers dinner, open bar and entertainment.
In addition to contributing to the school and the community, the extravaganza is a great way to promote your business. You can become a sponsor for the event or place an ad in our event program. Either way, it’s great publicity for your business. Sponsor package details along with reservations, donations and raffle tickets can all be found at saintsimon.org/royal-extravaganza.See you there!