North Readies for 2nd Annual Polar Bear Gala

Collage of photos from North High School

From academic decathlons and robotics to basketball and wrestling, there are a lot of good things to celebrate at North High School. So it’s time for a celebration. The 2nd annual Polar Bear Gala is on Saturday, March 25.

From academic decathlons and robotics to basketball and wrestling, there are a lot of good things to celebrate at North High School this year. So it’s time for a celebration. The North High Activities Department and Booster Club are pleased to announce the 2nd annual Polar Bear Gala on Saturday, March 25 from 5:30-10:00 p.m. at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott.

The Gala, started in 2016, was founded to raise awareness, appreciation, and support for the talented students of North High School’s activities, athletics, and arts.

“The Gala was a tremendous success in its inaugural year. We raised $30,000 for student athletes and artists,” said Activities Director Oliver Sinclair. “This year we have set a goal of raising $50,000 and are confident we can do it.”

The success of the Gala enabled many programmatic changes for students at North.

“Being involved in golf, basketball, baseball, and Polar Bear Crew makes it hard to afford everything that goes along with those activities, and I have seen first hand the blessings that the Gala funding has had on these programs,” said senior Michael Sunga. “Our entire baseball team has been able to attend six pitching/catching sessions with Coach Randy Wee. I’ve also personally benefited from the team baseball camp, new golf polos, and practice jerseys. Thanks to all that are involved in this event. It has a tremendous positive impact on our students and programs.”

“We used the money to purchase books and resource guides, which were a foundation to our success,” said Coach Brown of the Academic Decathlon team. “As a winning team at regionals, we qualified for the state competition in Cedar Rapids and used Gala money for transportation, food, and hotel costs. The money given to Academic Decathlon made for an enriching experience for our students. Thank you!”

In order to build off of last year and meet this year’s goals, the Gala has worked to enhance the overall experience.

“This year’s Gala is being referred to as ‘The Encore’ and we are confident it will exceed expectations,” added event co-chair Lori Bonnstetter. “This year’s festivities have been moved to the Downtown Des Moines Marriott with an improved menu, live music by Iowa Blues, Rock & Roll, and Jazz Halls of Fame member Dartanyan Brown.”

Visit for more information on the event, purchase tickets to attend, and – whether you are in Des Moines or an alumni living away – buy raffle tickets. Among this year’s raffle prizes are a vacation to either New York City for Broadway shows, Lake Tahoe, or a resort in the Dominican Republic.