Gesu School 7th annual gala Growing Greatness Thursday May 2

Many wonderful events happen in the Grand Ballroom at The Hyatt
at the Bellevue, but when it’s a celebration of children and achievement it really is a super celebration, last week…

Gesu School, a national trailblazer in the mission school model, held their
7th annual gala, Growing Greatness, on Thursday, May 2 at the The Hyatt
at the Bellevue. This year’s gala was co-chaired by Carter &
Jennifer Sims
of Villanova and Margaret Anne & Jim Nolen of Newtown
Square, and honored the recipients of the 2013 Gesu Spirit medal –
Vivienne Ehret and Rev. William J. Byron, S.J. The event’s presenting
sponsors were James J. & Frances M. Maguire and an anonymous donor.

row Jenn Sims (gala co-chair), Rev. William J. Byron, S.J. (Gesu Spirit
Medal recipient), Vivienne Ehret (Gesu Spirit Medal recipient), Sr.
Ellen Convey, I.H.M.
(Gesu principal), Margaret Anne Nolen (gala
co-chair), Back row: Carter Sims (gala co-chair), J. Gordon Cooney, Jr.
(Gesu board chairman), Bryan Carter (Gesu president), Jim Nolen (gala
co-chair) – “Although majority of our students reside in the most impoverished zip codes in the City of Philadelphia, our children come to know that they can achieve greatness in their lives.” – J. Gordon Cooney, Jr.

 Jerry O’Grady, Frannie and Jim Maguire – The Maguire Foundation proudly supports Gesu School.

 Ron and Ellen Caplan, Margaret Anne and Jim Nolen and Sean Lavelle

There was also a silent auction featuring art work from Gesu students. 

 Keith McClain ’89, Jeffe McClain and HL RatliffLater in the evening, during the program. Keith McClain spoke about the attending Gesu and the strong foundation that was set in place for his life after he attended Gesu. The school saved his life, created life long mentors and
friends and is responsible for his success now.
 Fr Dan Ruff, S.J, Pastor of Old St Joes, Rev. William J. Byron, S.J (honoree), Dan and Laura Salvatore

 The table’s were decorated by daisies and the students photos
 Teachers: Sallie Michalsky and Leya Egea-Hinton
 Kris Strid, Jennifer Kolmer, Terry Alburger and Karen Earley
 I was on my best behavior with all these nuns in attendance

Moira Sims and Tom Hobson

 Chris Quigley, Allega Cosgrave, Michael Cosgrave and Josie Quigley
 John Fleming and Allyson Wang were eying up some of the kids artwork, which was selling briskly.

 After the cocktail hour, the guests sat down for the program as well as to enjoy the entertainment by the Gesu students.

 The performances included ballroom dancing, spoken word and songs from the choir.
 Black lights and gloves 

 Rev. George W. Bur, S.J presents Vivienne Ehret, the schools librarian, who came to the school after retiring and wanting to do more in her life, The Gesu Spirit Medal Award. She recruited other volunteer teachers who now contribute to the Gesu students with their skill and knowledge.

 Known for wearing many of her stylish hats, the Gesu students presented Mrs Ehret with a new hat to wear.
 J. Gordon Cooney, Jr. Chairman of the Board of Trustees (r) presents the other The Gesu Spirit Medal Award to  Rev. William J. Byron, S.J
gala helped raise more than $340,000 for students at Gesu, where young
people from some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods get a chance at a
brighter future. The school’s alumni boast a 90% on-time high school
graduation, as compared to 64% for the School District of Philadelphia.
Learn more at