With a gorgeous backdrop and atmosphere of generous giving, Jesuit High School's 15th annual fundraising gala, Gaudiosa: An Evening in Rome, was a smash hit Saturday, February, 24 at the Hilton Tampa Downtown.
The award-winning event raised a little more than $700,000 for Jesuit's financial aid program. It also featured the announcement of a transformational $1 million gift by Dan Doyle Jr. '89 to the school's $40 million 'For Greater Glory' capital campaign.
Doyle, the founder and CEO of DEX Imaging, is the youngest ever to make a gift of $1 million or more to Jesuit. For years he has demonstrated exemplary leadership in helping advance the mission of Jesuit, and Saturday, before more than 600 fellow Jesuit supporters, Doyle and his wife, Nicole, were recognized by school president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. for their transformative million-dollar donation to 'For Greater Glory.'
The amazing generosity of Doyle and so many others set the tone for another extraordinary Gaudiosa. Under the direction of Jane Younger, Jesuit's special events coordinator and 4-time winner of the Tampa Bay Business Journal's "Best Event Planner" honor, Gaudiosa once again featured a fabulous setting, sensational auction items, and the spirit of Jesuit's financial aid program.
The most impactful moment of the night was delivered by student speaker Lazaro Alvelaez '18 (see video below). The Jesuit senior shared his remarkable family story of leaving Cuba for the United States when he was 9 years old, and spoke of the remarkable brotherhood he has experienced at Jesuit, which would not have been possible without financial aid. Now, Alvelaez is headed to Boston College as the recipient of a full Presidential Scholarship.
Gaudiosa 2018 showcased more than 300 wonderful silent auction items and live auction items such as world-class dining, a Northeast yachting vacation, two vacations to Italy, and excursions to Napa Valley and Deer Valley. The chance drawing of free gas for a year, sponsored by Radiant Food Stores, was won by Nancy Giannas. The festive atmosphere featured live music, a student orchestra ensemble, and amazing student art: Jesuit's AP Art students created five stunning Rome-themed murals for the event.
A Latin term meaning "joyous feast," Gaudiosa was named the Best Fundraising Event in the region by the TBBJ four times the past five years. The Event Patron Chairs were Lauren and Chris Schellman, P '20, and the Honorary Chairs were Stacey and Ron Leal, P '09. Please click here for a full listing of Gaudiosa 2018 Underwriters, Patrons, and Sponsors.
Gaudiosa's generous patrons, sponsors, and guests provide a significant amount of Jesuit's financial aid. The past five years, Gaudiosa has raised more than $3.4 million, and since its inception has raised $7.2 million, all of it supporting Jesuit students with demonstrated financial need. This school year, Jesuit is providing $1.95 million in financial aid to students with demonstrated need.
Please save the date for next year's Gaudiosa - February 23, 2019 - when we celebrate "An Evening in Paris" as we continue along the journey of St. Ignatius in his founding of the Society of Jesus.
Please see below the video of the presentation by Alvelaez. Below that are two photo slideshows from Gaudiosa 2018.