A Night in Key West, the fourth thematic event of its kind in as many years, was Trinity Catholic High School’s annual gala. Thanks to the combined efforts of Trinity Catholic Development Director Penny Baird and her gala committee members plus numerous staff members, students and others, guests were transported to the Southern-most point in the continental United States as they passed through the campus courtyard gates. Gala committee members included Lizabeth D’Ambrosio, Vicki Ehlers, Chrissy Gourley, Anna Redgate, Chris Scott and Darlene Stipes.
Trinity Catholic student ambassadors provided island hospitality as they greeted and conversed with visitors. Mojo Grill & Catering Co. served multicolored umbrella drinks and various appetizers. Among the first people to arrive were Al and Judy Dunlap, who were the Duval Street sponsors of this event.
Walking tours included various shopping stops and gallery visits at the silent auction tables. Almost 70 local businesses, restaurants and individuals generously contributed silent auction donations. Among individuals contributing to the silent auction were Al Dunlap, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Gangler, Mr. and Mrs. Randall Scott, Joseph Gagnier and Janet Marks.
Live entertainment was provided by Caribbean Crew. Trinity Catholic Principal Lou Pereira and table sponsors Larry Strack, Monica Plunkett, Dr. Mery Lossada, the Honorable Carol Falvey and Reverend Patrick Sheedy of Blessed Trinity Catholic Church were among those congregating amid the colorful Adirondack chairs and high-top tables from Party Time scattered throughout the courtyard.
At Mangoes Island Cuisine on Duval Street, Rondo Fernandez and his Mojo Grill & Catering Co. crew served up gourmet island surf and turf cuisine worthy of the Conch Republic. Dr. John Littel, a Trinity Catholic dad, emceed the live auction. Live auction items included two fishing trips—one out of the private Bonita Fishing Club in Yankeetown and one out of Miami on a luxurious Bertram yacht. Other live auction experiences included FSU football games and a weekend getaway to the Gardens Hotel in Key West.
Following the live auction, dessert stations were open and accompanied by live entertainment. Guests received mini key lime cupcakes made by Creative Confections as a thank you for the guests.
Development Director Penny Baird said, “Our goal each year is to ensure that every student who wants a Trinity Catholic education obtains one. Out of a student population of 550plus students, over 60 percent of them receive some form of assistance. This year we awarded over $700,000 in financial aid. We are so thankful for the generosity of those in our community who attended this beautiful event and helped us to raise over $50,000.”
Likewise, Principal Lou Pereira said, “I am very proud of our student ambassadors for the hospitality they provided. I can never say enough about the quality of our students. This event not only helped to provide crucial financial support for student tuition assistance but also enabled us to further our mission through community building and fellowship.”
Supporters of Trinity Catholic High School are already looking forward to next year’s gala. More information about next year’s gala will be on Trinity Catholic High School’s Facebook page.