Jesuit High School's 17th annual award-winning fundraising gala, Gaudiosa: An Evening in the Holy Land, set a new record Saturday, raising more than $815,000! It marks the first time the event, which raised a then-record $775,000 last year, has eclipsed the $800,000 mark.
All proceeds from Gaudiosa go toward Jesuit's robust financial aid program. For 2019-20, Jesuit has committed $2.47 million in financial aid to more than 30% of the student body. With this year's record total of $815,000+, Gaudiosa, under the direction of award-winning special events coordinator Jane Younger, now has generated more than $5 million over the past seven years – all for Jesuit students with demonstrated financial need.
As it does every year, Gaudiosa featured a spirit of generosity amidst a gorgeous, St. Ignatius-inspired setting created by Decorations Chairs Annette Sanchez, P ’17 and Elvia Rivera, P ’14 at the Hilton Tampa Downtown. Led by Auction Chair Carol Jahnke, P ’22, the event showcased sensational live auction items such as vacations to Italy and Napa Valley, the legendary Dinner with Fr. Douglas Hypolite, S.J., and more than 300 fabulous silent auction items. The more than 600 generous guests also enjoyed a delicious dinner, student musicians, beautiful murals created by Jesuit's AP Art students, live music with the band Finesse, and dancing. Click here to view the the event program.
Student speaker Oscar Lopez ’20 (pictured on the homepage with his parents, Oscar Lopez and Aida Alayon) provided the most impactful moment Saturday night. Lopez spoke of the extraordinary brotherhood and mentoring he has experienced at Jesuit – which would not have been possible without financial aid – and his desire to return someday as a Spanish teacher. Click here or scroll down to view video of Lopez's presentation.
Among the hundreds who donated to Gaudiosa 2020 and made it a huge success were the event's Grand Gaudiosa Underwriters: Pat Carroll ’98; Nikki DeBartolo and Sheriff Chad Chronister, P ’22; The Hyer Family, P ’01, ’23, ’23; Stacey and Ron Leal, P ’09; Lauren and Christopher Schellman, P ’20; and the Jesuit Community Tampa. All of the event underwriters in 2020 also have been very generous supporters of Gaudiosa in years past.
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; and Cherie and Harvey Schonbrun '65, P '03, '10.
A Latin term meaning "joyous feast," Gaudiosa has been named the region's Favorite Fundraising Event four times by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Bringing the entire, fabulous event together is Younger, who has been named the area's Favorite Event Planner four times by the TBBJ, and a team of dedicated volunteers. A list of all of Gaudiosa's patrons and volunteers is available in the event program, click here to view.
"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. "Again this year, Jesuit's generous benefactors showed their amazing support for the school's mission and dedication to its financial aid program."
The generosity of Gaudiosa's patrons, sponsors, and guests provides a significant amount of Jesuit's financial aid. This school year, Gaudiosa proceeds from 2019 are providing nearly 1/3rd of the school's $2.47 million financial aid disbursement. In recent years, Gaudiosa also has featured the announcement of transformational capital gifts, such as a $2 million Arts Center donation in 2019 from Ron Antinori '60; a $3 million gift in 2016 from Joe Capitano Sr. '56, Joe Capitano Jr. '84, and Frank Capitano '87; and a $2.5 million donation in 2017 by Richard "Steve" Jenkins '75.
SAVE THE DATE: for the 18th Gaudiosa: An Evening in Venice on Feb. 27, 2021, as we continue along the journey of St. Ignatius in his founding of the Society of Jesus.
Please see below video of the student presentation by Lopez, and below that are two photo slideshows from Gaudiosa 2020.