Where can you go for a night of fine dining, artwork, a silent auction and live musical performances?
Columbus High School.
Thursday night, students at Columbus High are showcasing their talents and skills honed at the school, during the inaugural Falcon Showcase.
The evening begins in the commons area of the school with a silent auction at 5:30 p.m., which features a football signed by Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen, space on the digital billboard on Highway 45 North, and artwork by Thomas Nawrocki, as well as Columbus High advanced art students.
Dinner, catered by McKellar Technology Center”s culinary arts students, follows at 6:30, along with performances from the school”s show choir, jazz band and gospel choir and presentations from various other student groups.
CHS graduates Scott Colom and Tyson Lee also are slated to speak as part of the program.
“The idea is that we would showcase the students and the programs and the services that are being provided at Columbus High,” said Suzanne Bean, a president of the Parent-Teacher Organization at CHS. “There is just so much talent there and so many good things going on there that sometimes get overlooked … And we want to showcase that to the community.”
Gayle Fortenberry, advanced placement coordinator for the school, saw a newspaper article about a similar program in Starkville, last year. They raised nearly $10,000 for the school, she recalled.
“I thought, well, this community is capable of doing the same thing,” Fortenberry said.
She hopes the event will give community members a look at the array of programs offered at the school.
“A lot of times there”s so much bad press about teenagers in the community,” Fortenberry said. “We may not win every football game, but there are lots of positive things going on within the walls of Columbus High School.”
It”s important, she said, for the community to “embrace and support that.”
“I think it”s going to be phenomenal,” said Janet Lewis, public information officer for Columbus schools. “And every year, I want this to grow and grow. These are our future leaders, and what a great opportunity to showcase their talent.”
The program highlights an array of students, from the “academically gifted students to creatively gifted students, technology-related, (International Baccalaureate) students,” Bean said.
“The goal first and foremost is to showcase the things that we are doing at Columbus High School,” she said.
Bean”s daughter, Meriweather, is a senior at Columbus High.
“She is in the IB program and has really thrived and flourished since her time at Columbus High School,” Bean said, noting “strong schools equal strong communities.”
“Regardless of where people send their children to school, we need to support our choices of schools, and Columbus High is one of those options that sometimes gets overlooked,” she said. “We want to make sure everyone sees the value in all of the choices that exist.”
Tickets to the event are $100 each or $500 for a six-seat corporate table.
For tickets, call Columbus High School at 662-241-2700.
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