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 Mr. Mike Pagtakhan, city councillor for Point Douglas, opened the Annual School Tea


The Annual School Tea is the largest event on the school calendar, and it attracts a wide range of visitors beyond the families currently attending IHMS. This year, the Tea took place on Sunday, February 5, 2012 from 1:30 to 4:00 pm.

Although the Annual School Tea officially began at 1:30 p.m., most people arrived well in advance to get a good seat in the gym for the opening speeches. People also came early to view the displays in the Exhibit Room, to enter tickets for the Basket Raffle, and to visit the Bake Room before it was sold out. Parent volunteers seen throughout the school kept things running smoothly to accommodate all the visitors to the Tea. In addition to being a fund-raiser, the camaraderie the Tea creates among the volunteer workers make it one of the biggest community-building events of the year.

The theme for the 2012 Annual School Tea was ???Everyone Grows???.

For as long as anyone can remember, it???s been customary for the school to showcase examples of student artwork on the theme of the Annual School Tea. Recently, that artwork has been displayed on hundreds of placemats arranged on the tables throughout the gym. Every student in the school created at least 2 colourful placemats based on the topic ???Everyone Grows???.

Mr. R. Picklyk, the school???s principal, was Master of Ceremonies for the event. After welcoming everyone to the Tea, he introduced Most Reverend Lawrence Huculak, OSBM, Metropolitan of Ukrainian Catholics in Canada. Most Reverend Lawrence Huculak lead everyone in the opening prayer.

After the prayer, Mr. Picklyk introduced Mrs. Barb Pichlyk, the  president of the IHMS Parent???s Guild. Mr. Picklyk then introduced the vice-president, Mr. Rick Buchan who thanked all the parents who made this year???s Tea such as success. Unfortunately, because their children are graduating from IHMS in June, this was the last School Tea for many long time volunteer co-ordinators such as Mrs. Kandia (Display Room and co-convenor), Mrs. Skromeda (Basket Raffle), Mrs. Karpa (Basket Raffle), and Mrs. Harik (Treasurer).

Next, Mr. Picklyk introduced Provincial Superior Sister Patricia Lacey, SSMI, to speak as a representative of the order of Sisters that own and operate the school. Sister Lacey noted the love and dedication of everyone involved ay IHMS, and she thanked all the people who volunteer and support our school.

Next, Mr. Mike Mager, chairman of the IHMS board of trustees, gave a brief update about the school???s relocation plans, and mentioned that the Annual Dinner on March 10 is the next big fundraiser for the school.

Finally, Mr. Picklyk introduced the Tea Opener, Mr. Mike Pagtakhan, city councillor for Point Douglas. Mr. Pagtakhan mentioned that a few years ago, he and his wife were searching for an academic and faith based school to enroll their children. Through recommendations from friends, they decided on Immaculate Heart of Mary School. Mr. Pagtakhan went on to relate several stories and fond memories about their family???s experiences at the school over the years.

The Tea was officially opened after Mr. Pagtakhan lit the two centerpiece candles.

The Annual School Tea is such a huge event that it can only happen through the hard work and dedication of a lot of people. Although everyone involved with the school played an important role in the Tea???s success, the majority of the work was done by parent volunteers. A lot of these parents dedicated most of their weekend preparing for the event, while others worked tirelessly with the cleanup and reorganization of the downstairs classrooms after the event. A large group of parents also kept everything running smoothly by working anonymously behind the scenes during the Tea.

           Some of the parent and student volunteers who worked at the Annual Tea

 The Tea was organized by two very talented IHMS parents, Mrs. Lydia Kandia and Mrs. Violet Newediuk-Fosty – the sixth consecutive year for Mrs. Kandia (also the last) and the second year for Mrs. Newediuk-Fosty.













These two convenors spent countless hours co-ordinating the dozens of volunteers necessary to run the event. The results of the Tea speak for themselves because Mrs. Kandia and Mrs. Newediuk-Fosty obviously did a spectacular job!

Some of the volunteer co-ordinators and their areas of responsibility:

  • Main Raffle – Barbara Pichlyk and Leslie Stewart
  • Tea Treasurer – Diane Harik
  • Basket Raffle – Shelley Karpa and Julie Skromeda
  • Set up – Lydia Kandia
  • Food Preparation – Violet Newediuk-Fosty
  • Back Room – Violet Zbaraszewski
  • Front Door/Reception – Myron Radawetz
  • Servers – Sheila Kolsun
  • Tea Essence and Kitchen Duty – Debbie Hanson
  • Bake Room – Dorota Barczak
  • Display Room – Lydia Kandia
  • Clean Up – Slav Waplak

During the Tea, each classroom on the first floor of the school was used for a special purpose.

The grade 3 classroom was the ???Bake Room???


The Bake Room has always been one of the more popular attractions at the Tea. Pastries, pies, and other baked goods that were generously donated by the families at IHMS were sold here. Every family contributed 3-4 items for the Tea, and while some were used in the Tea room, the rest were sold in the Bake Room. With well over 100 families in the school, there was an incredible selection to choose from!

The grade 2 classroom was the ???Exhibit Room???

All items in this room were for exhibit purposes only. There was a beautiful display of Theotokos icons as well as a display for the new school (the same three poster boards that are usually found alongside the front steps).

The grade 1 classroom was the ???Cloak Room???


The Kindergarten classroom was the ???Basket Raffle Room???

In the ???Basket Raffle???, families donate items that are wrapped, itemized, and then raffled off.

Tickets were:

  • 1 card of 25 for $10
  • 2 cards of 50 for $20
  • 3 cards of 75 for $25

In addition to the basket raffle, the Tea Raffle is one of the most important fund-raising components of the Tea. Tickets for the Raffle are printed and distributed to every family in the school to sell.


Since the School Tea takes place during the coldest time of the year in Winnipeg, weather is always important factor for visitor turnout. This year, Sunday, February 5th was probably the most beautiful day in the history of the Tea – sunny and +6 Celsius! The melting snow and the bright sunshine probably encouraged a lot of people to attend.

By the end of the day, hundreds of visitors passed through the school???s front doors, making the 2012 version of the Annual Tea a complete success. The hard work of everyone involved in the undertaking of an event this large is a testament to the strong community spirit and sense of volunteerism that has held Immaculate Heart of Mary School together for so many years. Thanks to everyone who helped to make the Tea such a success, and see you again next year!


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