Jesuit High School's award-winning gala Gaudiosa: An Evening in Barcelona was a tremendous success Saturday (February 25) at the Hilton Tampa Downtown as the 20th annual event achieved a milestone fundraising total and also featured a historic announcement.
For the second time in its history, Gaudiosa raised $1 million! As always, the generosity of Gaudiosa's supporters all goes toward the school's financial aid program.
And during the event, school president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. made a special capital gift announcement: Lauren and Chris Schellman, who have a long history of generosity to Jesuit and other institutions, have made a record $5 million donation to Jesuit – the largest single gift in the 124-year history of the school!
The $1 million raised for financial aid and the $5 million transformational capital gift from the Schellmans (which will go toward the school's Campus Master Plan) helped make Saturday one of the most amazing nights in Gaudiosa's extraordinary history. (Click here for two photo slideshows from Gaudiosa 2023, and please see below the Grand Underwriters, Patrons, Sponsors, and Committee Members who made Gaudiosa 2023 a success!)
The phenomenal live auction had the ballroom buzzing and raised tens of thousands of dollars via items such as a MarineMax boating vacation in the Caribbean; vacations in Barcelona and North Carolina; Taylor Swift concert tickets; dinner with school president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. at Bern's Steak House and dinner with French-trained chef Fr. Douglas Hypolite, S.J.; and the evening's biggest attraction, a Goldendoodle named Tiger who incited a bidding frenzy. The silent auction showcased more than 300 amazing items in an electronic bidding format.
Saturday's gorgeous setting was courtesy of Floral Chair Shannon Greenhalgh, P '25 and floral designer Hanna Hodges. The joyous atmosphere transported the 600+ guests to beautiful Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain's Catalonia region. 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.
Last year, in Jane Younger's final Gaudiosa after 16 years as Jesuit's special events coordinator, the gala exceeded $1 million raised for the first time. This year, in Mary Rouge's first year at the helm, Gaudiosa did it again, surpassing $1 million when all the pledges were tallied.
"We are so thankful for our benefactors who support Jesuit High School and this event so generously," said Rouge. "Every year at Gaudiosa, so many supporters give so much to the school's financial aid program, and we are so thankful to 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 spectacular.
Once again this year, a student speaker, a Jesuit senior who spoke from the heart about how he would not have attended Jesuit without financial aid, provided the most inspirational moment. Richard Harris '23 shared his personal story about how his father died while he was in middle school, and how he feared he would not follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Daniel Harris '18. Jesuit's financial aid program resurrected his dream, and Richard Harris will graduate in May and attend college at Florida Atlantic.
The evening culminated with the Schellmans gift announcement, which brought the ballroom to its feet in thunderous applause. Chris Schellman spoke about how since moving to Tampa he has seen the special role that Jesuit plays in the lives of many family members and friends, including Lauren Schellman's father, Richard Gonzmart '71, who has been one of Jesuit's and the Tampa Bay area's most notable benefactors. The Schellmans have three sons who will graduate from Jesuit: Michael Schellman ’20, Maximilian Schellman ’24, and Alexander Schellman, who was recently accepted into Jesuit’s Class of 2027. The Schellmans also have a daughter, Isabella Schellman, who graduated from the Academy of the Holy Names in 2020.
The chance drawing for Gas for a Year courtesy of The Capitano Family and Marathon Gas was won by Mary Dineen. DeLeon Entertainment closed the event with great music that helped fill the dance floor late into the night.
The Tampa Bay Business Journal has repeatedly 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 10 years, Gaudiosa generated $7.7 million, with all the money raised going toward Jesuit's financial aid program. For 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.
Click here for two photo slideshows from Gaudiosa 2023, and please see below the Underwriters, Patrons, Sponsors, and Committee Members who made Gaudiosa 2023 a success!
Honorary Event Chairs
Chuck and Jessica Pasquotto, P ’24, ’26
The Hyer Family, P ’01, ’23, ’23, ’25
Jesuit Community of Tampa
Stacey and Ronald Leal, P ’09
Reliaquest (Renee and Brian Murphy)
Lauren and Christopher Schellman, P ’20, ’24
Blue and White Society
Michele and Kyle Bailey, P ’17, ’20, ’23
Karen and Daniel Consuegra, P ’13, ’15, ’24
Laura and Michael DeLucia, P ’08, ’05
Sara and Kieran Mahoney, P ’16, ’18, ’23
Marine Max (Vicki and Brett McGill, ’87, P ’19, ’20, ’22, ’23)
Lydia and John Oliva, ’60, P ’84
Cherie and Harvey Schonbrun ’65, P ’03, ’10
Melanie Aya- Ay and James Aya-Ay, P ’22, ’26
DeDomenico Orthodontics (Dr. Matt DeDomenico ’94)
Elaine Diaz, P ’85
iTedium, Inc. (Cathryn and Bob Meyers, P ’18, ’20)
Politis Plastic Surgery (Dr. Effie Politis, P ’24, ’26)
Diana and Tim Sullivan ’72, P ’02, ’04, ’07
Floral Sponsor – Kennicott Bros. (Shannon Greenhalgh, P ’25)
Champagne and Wine Sponsor – The Columbia Restaurant
(Richard Gonzmart ’71, Casey Gonzmart ’65, P ’02, ’18)
Chance Prize Sponsor – Radiant Food Stores (The Capitano Family, ’56, ’84, ’87, ’18, ’20, ’22)
Beverage Sponsor – Hannah and Seth Forman, P ’23
Bidder Paddle Sponsor – Older Lundy Koch & Martino
Electronic Bidding Sponsor – Dex Imaging, LLC (Mark and Kathy Rodgers, P ’24, ’24)
Gifts Sponsor - The Columbia Restaurant (Richard Gonzmart ’71, Casey Gonzmart ’65, P ’02, ’18)
Auction Bag Sponsor – Lincoln Lending Group (Frank Coto III ’97)
Barista Sponsor – Jeff and Susan Turner, P ’23
Planning Committee Members
Auction Chair – Theresa Wresh, P ’17, ’20
“Count Me In” Chair – Cecilia Fanning Mitchell, P ’25
Floral Chair – Shannon Greenhalgh, P ’25
Gifts Chair – Monica Santana, P ’21, ’25
Item Presentation Chair – Wendy Carrion, P ’24
Procurement Chair – Cindy Galiani, P ’25
Reservations Chair – Lori Tappan, P ’19
Secretary – Shannon Solano, P ’20, ’24
Volunteers Chairs – Alyson Kiernan, P ’25 and Antonette Wilson, P ’25
Dads’ Club Liaison – Michael Heald, P ’26
Mothers’ Club Liaison – Melinda Rix, P ’23
Tiger Lily Liaison – Erica Morris, P ’22