We help Each Other - This is the motto for St. Anthony School, but it could well be the rallying cry for the entire community surrounding our school and parish. A group of dedicated individuals, in a very short period of time put together the St. Anthony Dante Academy Gala Fundraiser to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the founding of Dante Academy and to raise funds for the school yard’s renewal program.
The committee consisted of Angela Ierullo – master organizer, Angelo and Rina Filoso, Jenny Dao and Gino Bentivoglio. In the space of 100 days this group of dedicated individuals put together the hugely successful gala that was attended by 350 former teachers and students of Dante Academy and St. Anthony School.
As the current principal and someone who is new to this area I am totally overwhelmed by the generosity and the sense of purpose displayed by every member of the organizing committee. These people saw the need to help St. Anthony and they went to it working tirelessly over the long summer months right up to the day of the Gala.
I spoke to many people on the Gala night and everyone said how much they appreciated having an opportunity to get together and see old classmates, sometimes for the first time in three decades.
The event was MC’ed by Pierangela Pica and Michael O’Byrne. They did an amazing job throughout the night. Michael entertained us all with stories of his days at St. Anthony while Pierangela sang a song especially composed by her for the school called ‘We Help Each Other’. The song has now been adopted as the official anthem of the school and is being played at all important events.
On November 23, Pierangela will sing the song for the first time at St. Anthony School. Community members are welcome to join us for this special event. Later this year, during Catholic Education Week there will be a formal thank-you ceremony hosted by the school for all those who volunteered to make this event such an incredible success.
The committee met last night to total up the proceeds from the Gala. After expenses, it is estimated that the Gala raised $25,500.00 for the school’s greening project. The committee decided that the money would go to finance the construction of an amphitheatre in the yard – this is part of the overall plan developed by Andrew Harvey, a consultant from the Ottawa Catholic School Board.
Words can hardly express the selflessness and dedication of this wonderful band of volunteers. On behalf of the students and staff of St. Anthony Catholic School, I would like to thank each and every one of the committee members for all they have done to make a permanent impact on our school.
While the Gala is over, the website for the event is still up and working. It will soon be updated with pictures from the night of the Gala. You can reach it at this address: www.stanthonygala.com
It seems appropriate to finish this article with some of the lyrics from Pierangela’s song:
Step by step
Day by day
We help each other
Along the way
Reach for the stars
Be true to yourself
Shine wherever you are
Paul McGuire Principal St. Anthony Catholic School