A LOOK BACK AT GAUDIOSA 2023: AN EVENING IN BARCELONA
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 reached a milestone fundraising total and also featured a historic announcement. (Scroll below for photo slideshows!)
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. (Please see below a listing of 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 British Virgin Islands; 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.
Please see below two photo slideshows from Gaudiosa: An Evening in Barcelona, and below that is a list of Underwriters, Patrons, Sponsors, and Committee Members who made Gaudiosa 2023 a success!
View 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
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
A LOOK BACK AT GAUDIOSA 2022: AN EVENING IN LONDON
THE 19TH ANNUAL GAUDIOSA GALA GENERATES A RECORD $1.15 MILLION!
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 19th annual Gaudiosa fundraising gala, shattered the previous Gaudiosa record of $825,000 – and crested the magical seven-figure mark.
The final total raised: 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.
The event 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., the 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.
Click here to view a phenomenal photo slideshow and video of the amazing student presentation by Trey George '22.