Event Raises Record $590,000
PC Wins Big at A Night in Black and White
From the second he strode to the podium at the cavernous Park Plaza Castle in Boston, you knew Ed Cooley was going to win this “game.”
Commanding attention with a piercing whistle into the microphone, the Providence College men’s basketball head coach both silenced and stirred the audience into a flurry of giving that resulted in another record-setting fund-raising evening at the third annual A Night in Black and White.
PC’s most pivotal, single-event, annual fund-raiser, A Night in Black and White generated $590,000 — mostly for the PC Fund — to easily surpass the event’s $500,000 goal. That figure shattered last year’s fund-raising record of $425,000.
The total included an astonishing $164,000 in gifts that evening alone, with much of it raised after Cooley and auctioneer Kathy Kingston went to work on the dais. Kingston directed the live auction, while Cooley and Kingston made “Fund A Need” appeals on behalf of the Angel Fund to the crowd of nearly 800 that included alumni, parents, corporate partners, and friends.
The Friars’ now-second-year coach, Cooley contributed both a leading gift to the Angel Fund and a spontaneous offer to host a dinner for 10.
Other highlights of the live auction were a dinner for eight hosted by College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley. O.P. ’80 and College Executive Vice President and Treasurer Rev. Kenneth R. Sicard, O.P. ’78 & ’82G; a seven-day trip to a Tuscany resort; a weekend New York City Broadway package; and “Green Monster” and courtside seats to the Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics, respectively.
The PC Fund and the Angel Fund are two of the College’s most significant fund-raising resources. The PC Fund supports the most compelling operational needs, including financial aid for students, attracting and retaining outstanding faculty, and enhancing academic resources and campus facilities. The Angel Fund provides immediate assistance to current students whose education is in jeopardy because their family is experiencing unanticipated financial distress.
In addition to those funds, a third beneficiary of the evening was the National Alumni Association Scholarship Fund. Proceeds from the silent auction, featuring photography by PC students, golf outings, weekend getaways, sports memorabilia, and PC VIP packages, supported that fund.
A Night in Black and White celebrates and supports the College. Featuring elegant wines and gourmet food, the event is highlighted by the presentation of the Black and White Award, with this year’s honorees being William ’77 and Claudia Concannon ’08P, and Bryan and Susan Koop ’11P, ’12P. The event includes live and silent auctions, mystery wine sales, a raffle, and entertainment. The Fund A Need appeal was introduced this year.
$1 million milestone surpassed
In a night of milestones, the record amount realized easily catapulted the cumulative, three-year fund-raising total for A Night in Black and White over the $1 million mark. To date, the event has generated more than $1.3 million.
“The real highlight of the evening for us was when we looked around the hall and an entire table of young graduates had their bid cards raised high for the Angel Fund,” said Ted ’86 and Kim ’86 McNamara, who co-chaired the fund-raiser with Mark ’97 and Susan Gasbarro.
“Fund-A-Need,” continued the McNamaras, “gave everyone an opportunity to showcase their Friar spirit. It allowed everyone to give at a level that was possible, and everyone gave with pride. We were all there to celebrate PC and its honorees, Bill and Claudia, and Bryan and Susan. But, we were there also to support PC and its future.
“Both these needs were encapsulated in that table, in that very moment. It truly was a tremendous night for our school. Friar spirit, Friar pride. We were thrilled to be a part of it.”
An emphasis of A Night in Black and White this year was parents and the role they play in the event and in the College community.
“Parents have never been more involved in Providence College,” stated Father Shanley in his welcoming remarks. He cited the leadership of Frank and Donna Ferruggia ’14P, the co-chairs of the Parents Leadership Council of the Parents for Providence Association.
Parents’ involvement helps makes PC the vibrant community it is, said Father Shanley, noting that when he walked on campus earlier in the day he saw a spinathon fund-raiser outside the Slavin Center; rugby, lacrosse, and softball contests in action; campus tours; and signs of construction and renovations in several locations, including the new Ruane Center for the Humanities.
“There are a lot of really good things going on. The future of Providence College depends on your generosity and nights like Black and White. It’s a night to celebrate where we’ve arrived at and where we’re going,” said Father Shanley.
Concannons, Koops in awards spotlight
The Black and White Award is one way in which the College celebrates all that is good about PC, he said. The award honors those who have significantly impacted PC and the communities in which they live. Before presenting the award, Father Shanley asked the audience to turn its attention to a video about this year’s co-recipients, the Concannons and the Koops.
Bill Concannon, who is vice chairman of Global Corporate Securities for CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc., served on PC’s Board of Trustees from 2002-2010. The Concannons provided the lead gift for the Concannon Fitness Center that opened in 2007.
Bryan Koop, who is senior vice president and regional manager at Boston Properties, Inc., and Susan Koop were the founding co-chairs of the Parents Leadership Council and co-chairs of the 2010 and 2011 A Night in Black and White.
Led by the McNamaras and the Gasbarros, a committee of more than 60 alumni and parents ensured the success of A Night in Black and White. Equally important to the outcome were nearly 175 sponsors and in-kind contributors.
The lead sponsors were Shawmut Design and Construction, The Gaffney Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and the McNamaras. Other major sponsors were the Concannons, The Kalagher Family, Gasbarro’s Wines of Federal Hill, State Street Corporation, and E. Turgeon Construction, Inc.
Another high point was the raffle, in which the winner can choose either a $10,000 tuition grant or $5,000 in cash. This year’s winner was the family of Gina Borsari ’13 (Brookfield, Wisc.), who chose the grant. Borsari’s parents could not attend A Night in Black and White but supported the event by purchasing a raffle ticket.
A member of the Liberal Arts Honors Program, Borsari is a humanities major with minors in business studies and Spanish. She is a manager for the Friars’ men’s lacrosse team and studied abroad in Madrid this academic year.
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