Jesuit High School’s 14th annual award-winning fundraising gala, Gaudiosa: An Evening in Barcelona, was a smash hit Saturday, March 4 at the Hilton Tampa Downtown, featuring the announcement of a transformative $2.5 million gift to the school’s capital campaign, as well as raising an event-record $701,404 for Jesuit’s financial aid program.
Steve Jenkins ’75, the CEO of Pharmaceutical Associates, for years has demonstrated exemplary leadership in helping advance the mission of Jesuit. Saturday night before more than 600 enthusiastic Jesuit supporters, school president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. announced that Jenkins and his wife, Carole, had made an extraordinary $2.5 million gift toward Jesuit’s $40 million ‘For Greater Glory’ capital campaign.
Jenkins began his career in pharmaceutical manufacturing in 1979, and Carole joined him at Pharmaceutical Associates in 1991. In 2012, the family founded the Jenkins Charitable Foundation, with a focus on supporting faith based initiatives as well as children in need. Jenkins’ name will grace Jesuit’s planned new Science and Math building. Also, Jesuit’s Superior Achievement in Science annual student award now is named in Jenkins’ honor.
As always, the mission of Jesuit High School was at Gaudiosa's core. This year's event once again featured a gorgeous setting created by Decorations Chairs Elvia Rivera, P '14 and Annette Sanchez, P '17 and inspired by the 16th century travels of the founder of the Jesuit Order, St. Ignatius, as well as more than 600 guests, fabulous auction items, and record-setting support for Jesuit’s financial aid program. (Gaudiosa 2014 also raised a little more than $700,000.)
Under the direction of Auction Chair Kathryn Sutton, P '18 and Auction Catalog Chair Cathy Hohs, P '17, more than 300 sensational silent auction items were showcased, and live auction items included world-class dining with French-trained chef Fr. Douglas Hypolite, S.J. (who returned to Gaudiosa again this year from where he teaches at Strake Jesuit in Houston), and vacations to Italy, Napa Valley, and the British Virgin Islands. A student classical guitar ensemble, Flamenco dancers from the Columbia Restaurant, amazing student art used both as decorations and as prized silent auction items, a live band, and dancing all contributed to the vibrant atmosphere.
Student speaker Matthew Olivera-Guzman ’17 provided the most impactful moment. Olivera-Guzman shared his remarkable family story, beginning with his parents coming to the United States from Peru and Mexico with little means, to his love of the brotherhood he has experienced at Jesuit, which would not have been possible without financial aid.
A Latin term meaning “joyous feast,” Gaudiosa has been named the Favorite Fundraising Event in the region three times by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Overseeing the grand event is Jesuit's special events coordinator Jane Younger, who has been named the area’s Favorite Event Planner three times by the TBBJ. The Event Patron Chairs were Marcus and Virginia Damm, P ’19, and the Honorary Chairs were Laura and Michael DeLucia, P ’05, ’08.
Gaudiosa’s generous patrons, sponsors, and guests, such as the Damms, DeLucias, and fellow Grand Underwriters Lauren and Christopher Schellman, P '20, and The Hyer Family, P '01, provide a significant amount of Jesuit’s financial aid. The past four years, Gaudiosa has raised more than $2.7 million, and since its inception has raised more than $6.5 million, all of it supporting Jesuit students with demonstrated financial need. This school year, Jesuit is providing $1.95 million in financial aid.
Click here for a Tampa Bay Business Journal story about Gaudiosa 2017.
Click here for a video of the presentation by Matthew Olivera-Guzman '17, with an introduction by school president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J., or click below for a video of Olivera-Guzman with no introduction.
Below the Olivera-Guzman video are two photo slideshows from Gaudiosa 2017.