Santa Barbara, CA – What do cascarones, tapas, a live mariachi band and Bishop Diego High School have in common? Viva la Bishop!, the school’s annual dinner and auction, of course. Held Saturday, March 1, this event raised more than $310,000 for the Adopt-a-Student program. This program helps defray the cost of tuition for qualified students with demonstrated financial need regardless of faith, race or cultural background.
The rain did not dampen the fiesta spirit as guests bid on a wide array of silent auction items. They were treated to various pieces of Santa Barbara Fiesta history provided by Mark and Donna Martinez. These items are normally displayed only at official Fiesta events, and proved to be quite a hit with the Bishop guests.
Lisa Carter and her crew from Behind the Scenes transformed the main gym into a delightful Mercado for the silent auction. As guests entered the Mercado, they were handed a refreshing marguerita. Bite sized tacos and a salsa bar were available at food stations and served piping hot. The live auction and dinner, catered by Rincon Beach Club & Catering, were held in the practice gym which had been transformed to a Spanish courtyard.
Highlighting the school’s active role in the Santa Barbara community were alumni who served as El Presidente of Old Spanish Days, including Peter Georgi (’72), Christie Gallagher (’72) Anthony Borgatello (’87). Current and future El Presidentes Dennis Rickard and Cas Stimson were also in attendance.
The school also honored its Dignatarios, the founding board members and board chairs. Bishop Diego High School became an independent, not for profit, Catholic school in 2005. In attendance were Keith Berry, Carla O’Neill, John Gherini, Peter DaRos, Fr. Tom Elewaut, Maria Fazio and Nicholas Vitalari. This talented group has been the driving force behind raising funds for the school and its financial aid program in excess of $16.5 million since 2005.
Guests were treated to the 2014 Adopt-A-Student video “50 Ways to Thank You” (a take-off on the Paul Simon hit). This music video was conceptualized by technology teacher Dan Yokubaitis and his Advanced Graphic Arts class and was filmed and produced by Bishop students. Zach Przekop filmed/edited the video, with Daniel de la Mora as the producer and lyrics by Chandler Swift. Live music was performed at the gala by David Breuer, Daniel de la Mora, Samantha Gaasch, David Schaeman and Marcos Schneider. This music video is available for viewing on the school’s website: http://www.bishopdiego.org/page.cfm?p=650