‘Mardi Gras’ benefits students

FAIRMONT – The annual Mardi Gras celebration to raise scholarship money for Presentation College students has continued to grow since its inaugural year in 2008.

“This is our seventh year,” said Traci Lardy, Presentation’s local director. “The first year, we had 13 tables. This year, we sold out 30 tables, with eight people at each table.”

In addition to the admission ticket, the event held at the Holiday Inn on Saturday included a live auction and a “silent-type” auction. In recent years, about $15,000 has been raised at the event.

“The support this community gives us is just phenomenal,” Lardy said. “All the money stays local, and this year there are eight recipients.”

Scholarship applicants are selected based on a written essay.

Naomi Posivio is one of the beneficiaries. A junior nursing student from Welcome, Posivio centered her essay around her volunteer work and how it relates to the part of Presentation’s mission statement promoting the “development of the whole person.”

“Volunteer hours are mandatory,” Posivio said.

All 140 students at Presentation must perform a minimum of unpaid aid during their tenure at the school.

Posivio admits she probably would not have thought about volunteering if the school did not require it. But she has found this aspect of the curriculum to be rewarding, especially last year’s trip to a New Orleans soup kitchen.

“I found that to be pretty life-changing,” she said.

She is gratified to be one of the scholarship recipients this year.

“It means a lot,” Posivio said. “It’s kind of daunting to see the price tags (for college), so I’m very grateful.”