In Jane Younger's 16th and final year overseeing Gaudiosa, the event surpassed $1,000,000 raised for the first time!
A joyous, festive atmosphere of giving permeated the Hilton Tampa Downtown on Saturday night (February 26) as Gaudiosa: An Evening in London, Jesuit High School's annual fundraising gala, shattered the previous Gaudiosa record of $825,000 – and crested the magical seven-figure mark.
The final total raised Saturday: more than $1.15 million.
The record-breaking generosity and emotional wave of support was not only for Gaudiosa's annual beneficiary, Jesuit's financial aid program, but also in tribute to the woman who has been in charge of the event almost since its beginning, Younger.
"I'm just so humbled and grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of Gaudiosa and Jesuit High School," said Younger, who began as a parent volunteer at the first Gaudiosa 19 years ago before becoming Jesuit's special events coordinator. "When I first started, I had no idea where this would go. It has been a team effort every step of the way, with incredible support and leadership. I'm just honored to be a part of it and to help support this amazing school."
In Younger's 16 years at the helm, Gaudiosa has ascended to become one of Tampa's premier galas. On four occasions, Younger has been named the Tampa Bay area's Favorite Event Planner by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, and under her leadership Gaudiosa is a four-time winner of the TBBJ's Favorite Fundraising Gala honor.
Saturday night was filled with wonderful moments, including a special recognition of Younger by Jesuit president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J., and an amazing live auction during which the eight live auction items generated nearly $100,000 in winning bids.
Immediately after the live auction, Jesuit student Trey George '22 addressed the 600 generous attendees to tell his very personal and powerful story of how financial aid to Jesuit has dramatically changed his life. George's testimony ignited an outpouring of support, as paddles shot in the air throughout the ballroom to make donations. When, finally, the donations slowed, Lauren and Chris Schellman, P '20, '24, who are annual Gaudiosa Grand Underwriters, raised the stakes. They offered to match any more donations up to $50,000. Another wave of paddles immediately were raised in generosity, and suddenly the total for the event had eclipsed $1 million, setting off a celebration in the ballroom.
The event's Auction Chair, Amy Daner, P '17, oversaw the more than 300 sensational silent auction items and eight phenomenal live auction items. Among the live auction items were a MarineMax vacation to the British Virgin Islands courtesy of Blue and White Society patrons Vicki and Brett McGill '87, P '19, '20, '22, '23; Mass and dinner packages with both Fr. Douglas Hypolite, S.J., a legendary French-trained chef, and Father Hermes; a Tom Brady-autographed Buccaneers jersey; and a surprise baseball package offered by Lance McCullers Jr. '12, the World Series-winning pitcher from the Houston Astros and former high school National Player of the Year for Jesuit. McCullers also matched the winning bid to his own auction item with a donation to Gaudiosa.
The Capitano Family and Marathon Gas once again sponsored the free gas for a year chance drawing, which was won by Stephanie McNeil, P ’25.
All proceeds from Gaudiosa go toward Jesuit's robust financial aid program. For the 2021-22 school year, Jesuit has committed $2.8 million in financial aid to 35% of the student body. In the 16 years led by Younger, Gaudiosa has generated some $8 million – all for Jesuit students with demonstrated financial need.
As it does every year, Gaudiosa featured a gorgeous St. Ignatius-inspired setting created by Decorations Chairs Annette Sanchez, P '17 and Elvia Rivera, P '14. Guests also enjoyed a delicious dinner; Jesuit's guitar ensemble under the direction of Nina Wegmann playing a medley of tunes from The Beatles; beautiful murals of London created by Jesuit's AP Art students; London "street art" created live on site by AP Art students Franco Capitano '22 and Ezra Moros '22; and live music and dancing with DeLeon Entertainment. Click here to view the event program.
Among the hundreds who donated to Gaudiosa 2022 and made it a million-dollar success were the event's Grand Gaudiosa Underwriters, including Honorary Event Chairs Stacey and Ronald Leal, P '09; Nikki DeBartolo and Sheriff Chad Chronister, P '22; The Hyer Family, P '01, '23, '23; Brian and Renee Murphy, and Lauren and Christopher Schellman, P '20.
Additional major donors to Gaudiosa 2020 include Blue and White Society ($10,000 donation) members Laura and Michael DeLucia, P '05, '08; Sara and Kieran Mahoney, P '16, '18, '23; MarineMax/Vicki and Brett McGill '87, P '19, '20, '22, '23; Lydia and John Oliva '60, P '84; Holly and Scott Garlick, P '24; Karen and Daniel Consuegra, P '13, '15, '24; Heritage Insurance/ Yvette and Ernie Garateix, P '21; Cherie and Harvey Schonbrun '65, P '03, '10/Kristi and Austin Schonbrun, P '10; and the Jesuit Community Tampa.
"Jesuit High School is committed to educating any qualified boy who wishes to attend Jesuit, regardless of his family's financial situation,'' Jesuit's Development Director, Nick Suszynski '98, said. "Once again this year, Jesuit's generous benefactors showed their amazing support for the school's mission and dedication to its financial aid program. We are truly grateful for their incredible generosity."
A Latin term meaning "joyous feast," Gaudiosa's locations each year follow along the journey of Saint Ignatius in his founding of the Society of Jesus. A team of dedicated volunteers make it all possible. A list of all of Gaudiosa's patrons and volunteers is available in the event program, click here to view.
SAVE THE DATE: for the 20th Gaudiosa: An Evening in Barcelona on Feb. 25, 2023!
View below a photo slideshow, and below that are two videos from Gaudiosa 2022, the first a special recognition of Jane Younger, and the second the impactful student presentation by Trey George '22. Below that are photos from the event.
GAUDIOSA 2022 PHOTOS - A Photo Slideshow is Coming Soon!
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