The 28th Annual Festa del Leone was a big success as the Roncalli Catholic community dressed up to support the Crimson Pride.
More than 400 people attended the event as 41 tables were crammed into th e gymnasium at RCHS. Along with supporters of Roncalli Catholic High School, friends of
Roncalli’s honored guest Bro. Mike Wilmot, S.J. were also in attendance. After a long career at Creighton Prep, Brother Wilmot began volunteering as a coach and mentor at Roncalli in 2001. Bro. Wilmot received the prestigious Pope St. John XXIII Award for his lifetime of service to Catholic education.
In accepting the award, Bro. Wilmot, who also donated a hand-made metal cross to the live auction, quoted Hall-of-Fame catcher Yogi Berra, “I want to thank everyone for making this night necessary.”
Father Larry Gillick, who was a classmate of Mike Wilmot’s when the two started at Marquette High School in Milwaukee in 1954, spoke about his friend of more than 60 years at the event.
“Bro. Wilmot is Jesuit, a Brother, a man on fire and many of us here tonight have been burned by his fire. His life has been formed with intensity, dedication, a love of Jesus and a terrible commitment to winning,” said Rev. Gillick, who is blind.
Other honored guests included Festa del Leone chairs Viv and John Ewing. John Ewing is Douglas County Treasurer and served on the Omaha Police Department for almost 25 years. He retired as deputy chief. Viv is Vice President of Human Resources and Community Relations at Nebraska Family Collaborative and was formally the President of the Nebraska Alzheimer’s Association.
Rob and Geri Schmid were Co-Chairs of Festa del Leone. Rob served with the Nebraska State Patrol for more than 29 years. Geri is executive director of payer relations for Nebraska Medicine.
Also in attendance was Omaha Police Chief and 1990 Roncalli Catholic High School graduate Todd Schmaderer.
The live auction raised funds for Roncalli Catholic students and programs as attendees bid on such items as Nebraska football season tickets, a trip to the Black Hills, a trip to Mexico, a trip to see the Kansas City Chiefs, a sign naming the street outside RCHS after Bro. Wilmot and many other great items.
The meal was catered by Enzo’s Italian of Florence. The meal included Family Style Penne alla vodka and mixed greens salad, plated dinner with surf and turf, beef tenderloin with jumbo shrimp scampi with asparagus. Dessert included canoli cake with coffee service.
S&S Sound Lighting and AV Rental handled the ambiance of the gymnasium.
The 29th annual Festa del Leone will take place on April 7, 2018.
THANK YOU TO OUR MAJOR SPONSORS OF FESTA DEL LEONE