Central Catholic auction begins with reference to new pope

Deacon Vic Bonnaffee kicked off the 31st annual Central Catholic High School Auction with an opening prayer Friday night at the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium.

Bonnafee’s prayer urged everyone to take Pope Francis’ advice to his cardinals to go forth to the public, build anew and share the word of God.

Bonnaffee turned the reigns over to auctioneer Kevin Ramirez who explained the auction rules. He jumped right into the “Desert Dreams” action by seeking an opening bid on a barbecue smoker.

Ramirez kept the audience at ease and the bidding moving with such comments as “I can hear crickets” when bidding on the first item was slow to get started.

Supporters attending the Friday auction also had the opportunity to purchase a catfish dinner, cheese pizza and more. With full stomachs, patrons posted bids at a steady pace.

Kim Conrad of Morgan City won the bid on a deer sculpture. “I love it,” she said of the auction. “It is fun.” She is a parent to two girls that attend Central Catholic.

The family-oriented event Friday also featured help from students such as Joshua Protti, who walked through the audience to show off the deer sculpture.

A bidding war between Joe Sanford and Michael Patterson ended with Patterson posting the winning bid on a Start-It Jump Start System. “My daughter goes to Central Catholic and I wanted to support tonight’s auction,” he said.

Patterson also planned to attend the Saturday gala and auctions, also held at the auditorium. “My wife, Erin, helped with the decorations,” he said.

Saturday’s event featured both a live and silent auction. About 250 people attended the gala Saturday, said event organizer Burt Adams.

“It was a success. We met our operating budget … to support the school,” Adams said.

Funds raised from both nights will go toward Central Catholic’s operating budget and the Catholic education it provides, said event organizers.

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