Pope Prep to celebrate its 20th year

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Pope John Paul II Preparatory School, which began its 20th year in August, is throwing a birthday party. 

The 20th Anniversary Celebration will be held outdoors on the football field in the school’s Jim Carell Athletic Complex at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18. The celebration will be held in lieu of the school’s annual gala fundraiser normally held in February. 

“This is a party,” said Pope Prep Head of School Michael Deely. “It’s a fundraiser, but the primary goal is to have fun.” 

The celebration will include a barbecue dinner, music, dancing, a live and silent auction, and a host of games including Glow Golf, a Hole-in-One competition, Casino tables and a Simon Says group game. 

There will be a slide show highlighting memories across all 20 years of the school’s history, said Jennifer Smith, director of marketing and communications for the school. “We would love to see alumni from all 20 years come back to celebrate this occasion with us,” said Smith. 

The cost is $75 per person and $50 each for alumni.  

“We’ve kept it very affordable, very accessible,” and dress is casual, Deely said.  

“We marketed this toward the people who don’t normally go to events like this,” Deely said. And with the addition of middle school grades at the school this year, “We have a lot of parents that are new and don’t know us,” he added. “If they don’t know anyone in the community, this will give them a chance to meet people.” 

Deely is anticipating more than 500 people will attend the celebration. 

“It’s a great opportunity for us to remember, recollect and reminisce and at the same time to celebrate our new sixth, seventh and eighth grades and all that’s yet to come for Pope Prep,” said Michelle Barber, director of advancement for the school. 

For more information about the 20th Anniversary Celebration, to buy tickets, or to become a sponsor, visit https://www.popeprep.org/support-jpii/20th-anniversary-celebration

A more formal event is being planned for the spring when the school can honor Karen Phillips and Betty Mayberry, two of the founding members of the school’s faculty, Deely said. 

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