Annual scholarship fundraiser takes a new twist


In years past Newman University has created themed events to raise funds for student scholarships. Among the most memorable have been the Party on the Ponderosa, the Newman Gala, and The Art of Food and Drink.

This year, the university took a different tack for its annual fundraising and social event with “Party on the Plaza – New Orleans Style.”

More than 280 people attended the Oct. 2 event, which brought the sights and sounds of New Orleans’ French Quarter to life on Founders Plaza on the Newman campus.

“This is the first time we’ve planned an event like this on the plaza since it was completed two years ago,” said Newman Vice President for Institutional Advancement Tom Borrego. “I think people really enjoyed the New Orleans theme. People showed their support for Newman students by helping us raise more than $52,000 for scholarships.”

Co-hosted by J.V. ’82 and Veronica ’82 Johnston, the party included artists demonstrating their work, street performers, mimes portrayed by the Newman student improv group The Sloppy Joes, a caricature artist, and a photo booth provided by Legacy Bank, entertainment sponsor of the event.

Revelers also enjoyed a steak dinner, a version of the Big Easy’s famous “Hurricane” drink, and silent and live auctions. Featured auction items included the original maquette of the statue of John Henry Cardinal Newman that stands on the Newman campus created by sculptor Babs Mellor, who donated the maquette to the auction. Also on the auction block were an all accommodations trip to Naples, Fla., provided by Carla Stovall Steckline and Larry Steckline, a Christmas in New Orleans package for two donated by Village Tours & Travel, tickets to local events and many other items.

The evening concluded with a fireworks display and a dance featuring Zydeco music by The Mudbugs, an acclaimed local band that recently appeared on NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion.”

“We sincerely thank all of our wonderful sponsors, staff and volunteers who made the Party on the Plaza possible,” said Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. “And of course, we thank everyone who attended and those who donated auction items for their generous support. Your gifts truly make a difference for Newman University students.”

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