ABOVE PHOTO: Gesu Gala Co-Chairs (from left to right), David Hilton and Anne Hilton (Chestnut Hill); Gala Co-Chairs, J. Gordon Cooney, Jr., Esq., Chairman of the Board of Directors, Gesu School and Gretchen Cooney (Newtown Square); Bryan H. Carter, President and CEO, Gesu School (Chestnut Hill); Sr. Ellen Convey, IHM, Principal, Gesu School (Philadelphia); Peter G. Gould, Ph.D., 2016 Gesu Spirit Medal Recipient and Board Member, Gesu School and Robin Potter (Haddonfield, NJ); Rev. Stephen D. Thorne, 2016 Gesu Spirit Medal Recipient and Board Member, Gesu School (Philadelphia)
Community gathers to support leader in inner-city education
The Gesu School, an independent Catholic, Jesuit School in North Philadelphia, held its annual fundraising Gala on May 5 and raised more than $371,000 to support its mission of empowering North Philadelphia’s children to break the cycle of poverty and violence through a quality education.
“We are incredibly grateful for our generous sponsors and the overwhelming support from the community which helped make this year’s annual Gesu Gala a resounding success,” said Bryan Carter, president and CEO of Gesu School. “More than 20 years ago, Gesu School paved the way as the first independent, Catholic elementary school in Philadelphia and became a model for inner-city education. Thanks to the funds we raised, we can continue in this tradition today by offering families in North Philadelphia hope for a brighter future.”
The event drew more than 350 attendees who were treated to a display of student artwork and performances featuring the Gesu School student gospel choir and a ballroom dance routine – which debuted earlier this year at the World Meeting of Families in honor of the Pope.
Additionally, the Gesu School Spirit Medal was presented to Rev. Stephen D. Thorne, one of only four black Catholic priests in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, in recognition of his commitment to Gesu School and mentoring program for 8th grade boys. Peter Gould, a former turnaround investor and corporate CEO who has transitioned into academia and non-profit management, also received Gesu’s Spirit Medal in recognition of his dedication to educating North Philadelphia’s children.
“The Gesu Spirit Medal honors individuals for their extraordinary commitment to Gesu School and both Fr. Thorne and Peter are truly deserving of this recognition,” said Carter. “They have worked tirelessly to build upon Gesu’s legacy and their significant contributions to our success as a model inner-city elementary school have had an immeasurable impact upon the lives of our students.”
For more information about Gesu School visit www.GesuSchool.org.