NIACC scholarship committee holds ‘Roaring 20s’ fundraiser

By James Grob,

It was a “Roaring 20s” theme — or perhaps a “Roaring 1918” theme — at the Elks Lodge in Charles City on Thursday evening as the North Iowa Area Community College Charles City Scholarship Committee hosted “Celebrating the Journey; Creating the Future.”

“Since this year is NIACC’s 100th anniversary, we’re doing a theme of 100 years ago,” said committee member Andrea Mujica. “NIACC had its first classes in 1918.”

The dinner and social event was held to provide funds for scholarships to students attending North Iowa Area Community College, either on the main campus or at the NIACC Charles City Center.

Several in attendance dressed in the styles of the 1920s, with headbands embellished with feathers, sequins, beads and jewels; and glitzy “flapper-style” dresses hemmed at the knees. This was the 24th year of the annual fundraiser.

“The Charles City community, on the 75th anniversary of NIACC, decided that we as a community want to have a scholarship fund for part-time students to attend NIACC,” said Mujica, who said that over the years 145 students have received about $55,000 in scholarships.

The event Thursday was emceed by Kellan Meavican of KCHA. After a welcome from NIACC President Steven Schulz, the crowd was treated to a dinner which included appetizers from the era, a mixed green salad with champagne vinaigrette, a chef’s cut of beef with a trio of sauces, vintage vegetables, au gratin potatoes and a strawberry au parfait dessert. The dinner was prepared by chef Ted Smalley of Hy-Vee.

The popular foods of that era were somewhat of a surprise to Mujica.

“Deviled eggs were very popular in 1918,” she said. “And they also had a lot of seafood appetizers. Interestingly, jello was just becoming popular in 1918, so there is jello included in the strawberry parfait.”

The dinner cost $40 per person or $300 for a table of eight. About 140 people were in attendance, according to Mujica. The Charles City High School String Quartet performed at the event, and Charles City’s Comet Cafe students served the dinner.

There was also a silent and live auction, with auctioneer Scott Wright. Items on the option block could be described as “fun and unusual.” They included a 30-minute sightseeing airplane ride, two tickets to see Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Marc Cohn in November at NIACC in Mason City, a free bagpipe performance, a Brighten Deco Luxe fan necklace and baroness stud earrings set, a one-night stay at a cabin at Cedar Springs Camp in Floyd, one free singing telegram, a fabulous gourmet dinner for six donated by Hy-Vee, Americana Bag Boards (bags included), one free beer every day for a year at Pub on the Cedar, two tickets to the Iowa-Nebraska football game, one free high school senior photography session donated by Karl Haglund, and a hand-crafted Christmas lap quilt donated by Miriam Leaman.

Scholarship committee members involved in the event were Rachel Adam, Heather Alsdorf, Lyndsay Clark, Sydney Franzen, Shawn Hyde, Josh Johnson, Jane Larson, Jennifer Loeckle, Tiffany Rottinghaus, Ted Smalley, Jayne Stowe and Ann Troge.