BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
With auction items including everything from Ultimate Dodgeball and an Amalfi Coast vacation to walk-on television roles, the 800 guests at the recent Latin School Gala at the Marriott Hotel had extra incentive to raise funds for financial aid, academics, arts, athletics, and co-curricular programs for Latin this year while celebrating the nearly-130-year-old institution.
Led by six co-chairs, Jacqui Hawwa, Jennifer Kim, Jennifer Prewitt, Lisa Murray Sartin, Juliana Schafer, and alumna Jody Wolf, over 100 volunteers including parents, teachers, staff, students, and alumni came together to raise over $1 million, making it one of the most successful academic fundraisers in the country.
Parent bidding is always at its highest pitch when faculty-donated prizes like a school sleepover for a whole grade or an Ultimate Dodgeball competition with Middle School PE faculty are up for bid. Alumni stepped up with one-of-a-kind donations such as an exclusive tour of the set of The Mindy Project, given by Hollywood comedy writers Ike Barinholtz and David Stassen (’95) and a news internship at theSkimm from Danielle Weisberg (’04). The youngest alum, Connor Olson (’16) stepped up to donate Cutco knives. Everyone wanted to show gratitude for the Latin education he or she was fortunate enough to receive.
Serving on the leadership team were Mary Fifield, Julie Goldstein, Hollis Hanover, Lisa Karsh, alumna Lesly Adolph Koo, Kristyn Krzyzaniak, Dara Milner, Daione Mitchell, Nicolette Nijensohn, Jory Strosberg, Natalie Tadin, and Kathy Wolf.
Paddles were raised in abundance for other live auction items, including Saturday Night Live tickets, a VIP Kentucky Derby experience, and a trip to Cambodia and Vietnam.
Servers on stilts and bicycles from New Moon Chicago passed hors d’oeuvres from alumni-affiliated restaurants such as Harry Caray’s, Sunda, and the Tortoise Supper Club, as well as Mon Ami Gabi, RPM Italian, and Krispy Kreme.
Over $3.9 million is awarded annually in financial aid for 14 percent of the total student body of 1000 young children and teenagers, presided over by Randall Dunn, Head of School.