Thursday May 11, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT

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600 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130

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Sarah Stirzel Cuzzolina
Director of Annual Fund 
Gesu School

Gesu School is an independent Catholic, Jesuit elementary school educating 450 children in Pre-K through 8th grade. Inspired by the Jesuit and IHM traditions of social justice, faith, hope and love, Gesu School strives to empower North Philadelphia's children to break the cycle of poverty and violence. 

There are no selective admissions to attend Gesu School, and our children come from a variety of faith backgrounds. In a city where approximately 65% of public high school students graduate in four years, 90% of Gesu alumni graduate from high school on time. More than 85% of those Gesu graduates pursue post-secondary education.

Read more about the benefits of a Gesu education at www.gesuschool.org.

Thank you to our sponsors!


Presenting Sponsors

Marguerite & Gerry Lenfest           The H. Chase Lenfest Foundation, Inc.  
M & S Foundation and Susan  Martinelli Shea

Mission Sponsors

 James F. '45 & Donna M. Higgins  Brook & Anna Lenfest                          PoGo Family Foundation

Sponsor a Child

 Anonymous                                            Tim & Briana Buskey                      The Flynn Family: Jennifer, Philip,  and Charlotte                                        Allan & Pat Murphy                              John Ryan & Mary Gregg and the      Ryan Family Fund of The  Philadelphia Foundation                      Carter & Jenn Sims

Educators Circle 

Anonymous                                         Comcast NBC10 Telemundo62        Comcast Spectacor    
Cozen O'Connor                                 Jack & Tammy Dodds                 Fulton Bank                                     Rod & Kerry Henkels                         KPMG, LLP

Innovation Sponsors  

 Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP 
 Kathy & Jerry Bernsten
 Craig & Jean Burns                  Gordon & Gretchen Cooney              John & Jennifer Curry
Deloitte LLP
 Connie & Tom Kirker            
 Kevin & Jennifer Kolmer
                   Bob & Anne McAlaine                    Kay & Jerry O'Grady                          Studio of Metropolitan Design    Architects                                           The Shipley School                                Vault Communications, Inc.          VERITABLE, L.P.

Impact Sponsors 

 Blank Rome LLP
 Brinker Simpson & Company, LLC
 Connelly Foundation                          Mary Corrigan                              Frances Gray                            HopDial, LLC                Independence Blue Cross                  Scott & Barbara Renninger        Saint Martin de Porres /                Rev. Stephen Thorne                    Kathleen & Frank Seidman
             Craig & Sandy White   

Patrons Circle

 Andy Anderson                               Anonymous                                            Jim & Lilibet Barrett                        Christine & Leif Beck                        Ed Beckett
 Daniel J. Begley
 Amy Brenner                        
 Christina & Joe Cathcart                Charles Capaldi                              Richard & Mary Cornelius               Judy & Rard Davies                     Jamey Delaplane                         Dugan Brinkman Maginnis & Pace  Tim & Ellen Foster                    Martha W. Gillin                              David & Anne Hilton
 Lynn & Tony Hitschler
 Kate Hovde & Kevin Kulak
 Jesuit Community - Wernersville  Mark O'Donnell                                Patrick Liedtka & Kate Darwin          The McNulty Family                          Mr. John T. Paul                                Keith Pension                                    Wendy & Paul Rosen                        Bill Stabert                                  Joseph & Detta Tate                        The Welch Family                      Randi Zemsky

Sponsor of Program Underwriting                                  Carol & Chuck Walsh

Media support provided by

You're Invited to the 2017 GESU GALA
We hope you will join us!

Enjoy a celebratory evening of cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, dinner, the presentation of the Gesu Spirit Medal to James F. Higgins '45 & H. Chase Lenfest, and inspiring stories, art, and performances from Gesu School students.

Thank you to our Gala Co-Chairs, Andrew & Michele Clayton, John & Jennifer Curry, Greg Rigdon & Molly Murphy, and Ted & Eileen Raven, as well as the 2017 Gesu Gala Committee for their tireless efforts on behalf of our children. 

Sponsor / Patron Opportunities 
Invitation listing deadline is March 1
Program listing deadline is April 21

  • Presenting Sponsor - $25,000 ($24,000 tax deductible)
    Includes 10 tickets, premium inside cover ad (front or back) in program, preferred dinner seating, event signage, listing in invitation and on webpage, and framed student artwork. 
  • Title Sponsor - $15,000 ($14,000 tax deductible)
    Includes 10 tickets, premium full-page ad in program, preferred dinner seating, event signage, listing in invitation and on webpage, and framed student artwork.
  • Mission Sponsor - $10,000 ($9,200 tax deductible)
    Includes 8 tickets, full-page ad in program, preferred dinner seating, event signage, and listing in invitation and on webpage.
  • Sponsor a Child - $7,500 ($7,300 tax deductible)
    Includes 2 tickets, half-page ad in program, listing in invitation and on webpage. Sponsoring a child provides critical scholarship support to students in need, helping them continue their Gesu education. (This level is for first-time sponsors OR current sponsors who commit to supporting an additional child. Sponsorships are for the 2017-2018 school year.)
  • Educators Circle - $5,000 ($4,400 tax deductible)
    Includes 6 tickets, half-page ad in program, event signage, listing in invitation and on webpage.

  • Innovation Sponsor - $3,000 ($2,600 tax deductible)
    Includes 4 tickets, half-page ad in program, event signage, listing in invitation and on webpage.
  • Impact Sponsor - $1,500 ($1,300 tax deductible)
    Includes 2 tickets, quarter-page ad in program, event signage, listing in invitation and on webpage.
  • Patrons Circle - $500 per person ($400 tax deductible)
    Includes 1 ticket, listing in program, listing in invitation and on webpage.
  • Guest Ticket - $225 per person ($125 tax deductible per ticket)
  • Young Friend Ticket (Age 35 & under) - $175 per person ($75 tax deductible)

Meet Our 2017 Gesu Spirit Medalists

Spirit Medalist James F. Higgins '45

Jim Higgins has been associated with Gesu School for more than 70 years. After transferring to Gesu in 1940, Jim thrived in a new educational environment that individualized learning and instruction. This was the start of a lifelong love for and dedication to the school. Jim fondly recalls the priests at the parish and the sisters at the school, who invested in him and taught him the value of hard work and generosity. After graduating from Gesu in 1945, Jim went on to attend Saint Joseph’s Prep and Saint Joseph’s University, where he earned a degree in accounting.

Following school, Jim served as a Marine, and later began working for Hillside Capital. Jim reconnected with the Church of the Gesu and Gesu School when he was asked to plan a parish reunion, which attracted more than 1,500 individuals. When he learned that Fr. Bur needed support to turn Gesu into an independent school, Jim reached out to assist. In 1993, he joined the new school’s board as its first treasurer. Today, Jim teaches at Holy Family University and continues to serve on Gesu’s board and committees, offering his unwavering support. Jim is one of Gesu’s biggest champions and is always spreading the word about the impact of the school on its students and the community. 

 Spirit Medalist H. Chase Lenfest

H. Chase Lenfest, a well-respected entrepreneur and philanthropist, has been supporting multiple programs at Gesu School for nearly two decades. The profound impact Chase has on Gesu’s children includes not only financial support through four annual Sponsor a Child scholarships and participation in Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit program, but also his active engagement in the lives and education of our students. “Dedication” aptly describes Chase’s relationship with Gesu. Despite his busy schedule at the helm of several companies, there is rarely a scholarship breakfast or luncheon where he cannot be found immersed in lively conversation or an intense game of Connect Four with students!

Gesu School fits within the mission of Chase’s varied and impactful philanthropic endeavors. He is the Founder and President of The H. Chase Lenfest Foundation, Inc., which provides financial support for programs that positively impact children’s lives in Philadelphia’s impoverished areas. In 2006, Chase also built The Lenfest Center, a 50,000 square foot facility in North Philadelphia, which offers a safe and enriching venue for youth and families. Chase’s commitment to making a better life for children in the inner city and his loyal dedication to Gesu School exemplify the true meaning of the Spirit Medal.