Despite the cold rainy weather the Bishop Kelly 50th Anniversary 2014 Winner’s Choice Dinner and Auction held at the Boise Centre on Saturday November 1st was a huge success, breaking last years’ record for attendance and funds raised. It was a night full of fun, good food, and most importantly fundraising.
Each year, the Bishop Kelly Foundation provides financial assistance, support and scholarships to Bishop Kelly High School by putting on the Winner’s Choice Dinner and Auction. This year marked the 38thyear that the Bishop Kelly Foundation hosted the gala and Father Wilson proposed initiating creating a foundation for BK and a fundraiser for the school and scholarships. Executive Director, Rita Franklin, during the preparation for the event said, “I expect this year to have a record of attendance and income. Last year we were able to net $345,000” All of the money goes to a good cause providing an operating grant to BK and providing need-based financial aid. Over 180 students, who might otherwise not have been able to attend were helped last year.
Rich Raimondi (Bishop Kelly President) and Mike Caldwell (Bishop Kelly Principal) can surely testify that students greatly benefit from the donors who graciously and generously support Bishop Kelly, “The past school year, 2013/2014, had many highlights: 98% of the class of 2024 went on to college; 83% of them received over $18 million in merit-based scholarships; their SAT and ACT scored increased 7% and 4% respectively and were in the top 10% nationally and the highest in the state; they contributed over 15,000 hours of service; and they won 3 state championships and 3 academic state championships”
The theme for this year was celebrating Bishop Kelly’s 50th Anniversary. President of Bishop Kelly Foundation David J. Bruce remarked, “It is hard to believe that Bishop Kelly is celebrating 50 years! So much has changed, but excellence has always been a constant. The legacy of the school really stretches beyond 50 years.”
This year’s gala began with silent auction where there was a wide assortment of baskets and all sorts of enjoyable goodies to pertain to everyone’s liking. Ranging from a dozen of handmade truffles to a football signed by Kellen Moore and everything in between.
During the introductory remarks and awards , the Order of the Knight was awarded to Mark Jaszkowski and David Skinner. The Order of the Knight honors individuals who have gone above and beyond in furthering the interests of Bishop Kelly. Mark Jaszkowski was the immediate past Director of Development and Alumni Affairs. Mark is a long-standing member of the building and finance committees and helped by being a regular supporter and donor to the Winner’s Choice Auction. Dave Skinner has devoted himself to Bishop Kelly ever since he first got involved with the school in 1967. Dave has been a great supporter of BK and has done a number of services such as announcing football games on the radio, founding the History Club, and starting the AP American History program. Both of these individuals are truly awe inspiring with the work they have done for Bishop Kelly and its community.
At the Live Auction, excitement filled the air as bidders competed with one another to get the highest bid for all sorts of great items such as Super Bowl XLIX Trip, one-week stay at a Mexico Condo, and Bishop Kelly Graduation Front Row Seats. The auctioneer, Larry Flynn, kept the spirit of giving well and alive with his booming voice.
When the Live Auction ended, donations for Bishop Kelly student scholarships were requested, known as Knights for Scholars. This year, the Bishop Kelly Foundation hoped to reach a goal of $125,000 in scholarship pledges. With the generosity of donors they were able to raise more than they had before, close to $135,000. Every dollar that was pledged goes directly to funding the one out of every five students at Bishop Kelly who receive financial assistance.
Kendall Ford provided the vehicles for the car give-away, which is the big event of the night. Everyone’s name is placed in a drawing as each name is called they are eliminated and when the last ten people are left they stand next to the car they wish to win.This year’s lucky winner was Brekk Bass and Lauren Franklin.
For those who missed out on attending such a spectacular event, consider attending next year’s Winner’s Choice Dinner and Auction. It is a wonderful, and beneficial event that many individuals contribute hard work, time, and money to have it be such a great success. The event truly exemplifies Bishop Kelly coming together as the community it is known to be.