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Gaudiosa 2024: $1.25 Million!

Gaudiosa 2024: $1.25 Million!

Jesuit High School's award-winning gala Gaudiosa: An Evening in Rome was a record-setting success Saturday (February 24) at the Hilton Tampa Downtown!

The generosity of Jesuit's supporters at the 21st annual event raised a whopping $1.25 million – the most ever! It also marked the 3rd consecutive Gaudiosa to surpass $1 million. As always, all of Gaudiosa’s proceeds go to the school's financial aid program. 

The joyous atmosphere and ambience was created by special events director Mary Rouge and her amazing team of volunteers, as well as sponsors such as the Columbia Restaurant and Richard Gonzmart '71, who provided 600 bottles of wine. Guests were transported to iconic Rome; the locational theme for each Gaudiosa is based on the travels of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus – the Jesuits – in the 16th century.

The evening was filled special moments, two of which featured Jesuit students. First, just before the live auction, the sensational “Jesuit Trio” of Juan Amador '27, Austin Blewitt '26, and Carlos Lamoutte '25 gave an uplifting pop opera performance that generated a standing ovation.

Later, Jesuit senior Evan Rordam spoke from the heart about his experience being raised by a single mother, Dr. Jinah Rordam, after the death of his father when he was very young. He shared how Jesuit's financial aid program made it possible for him to attend Jesuit and achieve his dreams, including becoming a Loyola Scholar and football State Champion.

(Click here to view the Gaudiosa event program, which lists all of the volunteers, underwriters, donors, sponsors, and patrons for Gaudiosa 2024.)

The phenomenal live auction had the ballroom buzzing and raised more than $100,000 via items such as a MarineMax boating vacation in the Caribbean; vacations in Rome and North Carolina; dinner with school president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. at Bern's Steak House; an irresistible an Aussiedoodle named Tiger, who had gone viral the day before as he toured campus during the school day with Father Hermes; an experience at The Motor Enclave; and a surprise auction item from Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, P ’25, ’26.

The evening's biggest live auction attraction was a golf outing at Michael Jordan's ultra exclusive private course, Grove XXIII. When the bidding reached $30,000, the item's donors, DeLeon and Gary Sheffield, P '24, '26, agreed to double the offer and have two bidders win the opportunity.

Another surprise gift provided an additional $100,000! Ray Hyer, P ’01, a longtime Jesuit benefactor and Gaudiosa Grand Underwriter, offered a matching $100,000 donation that was quickly realized when patrons repeatedly raised their paddles to fund scholarships to Jesuit.    

The silent auction showcased nearly 300 amazing items in an electronic bidding format, including vacations, jewelry, sports-related opportunities, and many uniquely Jesuit items.

Saturday's gorgeous setting was courtesy of the Floral Sponsor, Kennicott Bros. (Shannon Greenhalgh, P '25); the Premier Décor Sponsor, HomeFrosting (Karen Post and Eric Vogt, P ’15); and longtime Gaudiosa supporter Elvia Rivera, P ’14.

"We are so thankful for our benefactors who support Jesuit High School and this event so generously," said Rouge, who was at the helm of her second Gaudiosa. "Every year at Gaudiosa, so many give so much in support of the school's financial aid program. We are so thankful to all of them and to all of our volunteers, whose tireless efforts make this event possible."

As always, Gaudiosa featured a delicious dinner, a great live band, dancing, and the spirit of Jesuit High School. Rouge and her dedicated staff, including longtime volunteers Theresa Wresh, P '17, '20 (Auction Chair) and Lori Tappan, P '19 (Reservations Chair), worked diligently for months to make Gaudiosa a spectacular event.

The chance drawing for Gas for a Year courtesy of The Capitano Family and Marathon Gas was won by Jason Rogozinski, P ’26, and DeLeon Entertainment closed the event with great music that helped fill the dance floor late into the night.

The Tampa Bay Business Journal has recognized Gaudiosa, which is a Latin term for "a joyous feast," as the region's best fundraising gala, honoring Gaudiosa as the "Best Fundraising Event" four times! Over the past 11 years, Gaudiosa has raised about $8.9 million, with all the money raised going toward Jesuit's financial aid program. For more than two decades, Gaudiosa has helped to ensure that no qualified boy who wishes to receive a Jesuit education is denied the opportunity for financial reasons.

View photos below. Also, two photo galleries are available with free downloadable images. Click here for the first gallery with stunning images from Heather Bossowski/Southern Cross Photography, and for the second gallery click here.















































  • Gaudiosa 2024