St. Rita High School’s Caritas Valentine Dinner Dance Raises Record Funds for Student Tuition Assistance and Kicks Off Capital Campaign

On Saturday, February 3, 2018 five hundred friends of St. Rita came out to support the 29th Annual Caritas Valentine Dinner Dance held at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago.  St. Rita was honored to welcome Big Shoulders Fund Co-Chairman, Monsignor Kenneth Velo; Big Shoulder’s President and CEO, Joshua Hale and his wife, Virginia; Greg Brown, Chairman and CEO of Motorola Solutions and his wife Anna; and Prior Provincial of the Midwest Augustinians and St. Rita alumnus, Fr. Bernie Scianna, O.S.A. ’83. 

L to R: St. Rita President, Mike Zunica, Crest of St. Augustine Award Winner Sally Deenihan, Head of School, Father Paul Galetto, O.S.A. and Chairman of the Board, Ernie Mrozek '71

World's Finest Chocolate CEO and Tolle Lege Award Winner, Ed Opler

Honorees of the evening included Organization of the Year, Deloitte.  Accepting the award for Deloitte was Vice Chairman, Chief Inclusion Officer and National Managing Partner, Center for Board Effectiveness, Deb DeHaas.  The Crest of St. Augustine Award was given to long-time administrator and former principal Sally Deenihan.  The Tolle Lege Award went to Ed Opler, CEO of World’s Finest Chocolate.  The Couple of the Year Award went to Mark ’90 and Mindy Hacker.  All recipients are honored for their support of St. Rita and other charitable and community endeavors.  They accomplish this not only with their financial contributions but also their time and talents.

Couple of the Year Mark '90 and Mindy Hacker and family with Fr. Paul, Mike Zunica and Ernie Mrozek.

The Caritas Valentine Dinner Dance is St. Rita’s largest fundraiser. This year’s record-breaking event raised more than $325,000 to go directly to student tuition assistance.  Highlights of the night were live and silent auctions featuring items such as: a Weekend in New York, One-Week stay in Naples, Florida, Chicago Golf Club foursomes, Elton John Farewell Concert and a VIP Brookfield Zoo Tour.

Student Speaker Connor Cahill and his parents, Pat and Michelle.

The evening was made even more special when Head of School, Fr. Paul Galetto, O.S.A. announced the Champions Will Be Made Capital Campaign – a campaign to raise funds for improvements to the athletic facilities, including a state-of-the-art fitness center and baseball facility.  Also included in the plans is further investment in the school’s existing endowment fund to ensure a longstanding, stable future for St. Rita.

The St. Rita Jazz Band entertains the crowd.

Mr. Bernie DelGiorno

Mr. Bernie DelGiorno

St. Rita president Mike Zunica, was thrilled with evening, stating, “The support for the mission of St. Rita has never been stronger.  You could feel it in the room the entire night.”  He was also proud to recognize two Ritamen who have made significant past contributions to St. Rita and solid commitments to the school’s future, Chairman of the Board, Ernie Mrozek ’71 and Larry Doyle ’68.

In addition, Mr. Bernie DelGiorno was recognized for his commitment and extraordinary $2.5 million gift to St. Rita.  With Mr. DelGiorno’s gift and the generosity of others who are committed to the future of the Catholic, Augustinian school, St. Rita is grateful to cross the $5 million mark of the $5.25 million capital campaign goal.