43rd Steer Dinner an Avila success

KANSAS CITY — Since the Steer Dinner was started by then-president of Avila College, Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet Olive Louise Dallavis 43 years ago, alumni, family and friends of the university have contributed more than $12 million toward scholarships for its undergraduate students. The dinner Feb. 2 at the Marriott- Muehlebach Hotel downtown, was to continue that legacy of generous support.

Through the silent and live auctions, the S.O.L.D. fund and the Heads & Tails game, the funds raised were to benefit student scholarships.

Emcee Steven Albritton, KMBC9 News anchor, introduced the speakers — Avila President Dr. Ron Slepitza, CSJA, who welcomed the guests; Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr., who led the attendees in grace; and the University Singers, who performed under the direction of Dr. Amity Bryson, Chair of the Music Dept.

As the dinner got underway, senior Chelsea Espino spoke of how Avila University changed her life through scholarships that enable to attend the university when she was certain she would be unable to afford college due to family financial straits.     

Students in evening dress meandered through the banquet room, selling beads for the Heads & Tails game. When the Nigro Brothers approached the stage to begin the live auction, the whole room ignored their dinner plates to pay attention. What to bid on?

The diamond ring? Carrie Underwood tickets and Marriott hotel room after the concert? Beef for a year? A week in Turks and Caicos, a week in Ireland, or a week in Cabo? A framed oil painting of Le Puy-En-Velay, France, the town where the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet were founded in 1650 by Father Jean-Pierre Medaille? Kansas City Royals or Chiefs games and packages? Or, a framed, autographed Patrick Mahomes jersey? The top five bids: The Mahomes jersey was purchased for $6,000; the oil painting of Le Puy-En-Velay brought $4,460; the trip to Ireland for $4,200; the Chiefs tickets and package went for $3,500; the Carrie Underwood tickets package for $3,100, and the trip to Turks and Caicos was doubled so there were two trips, each going for $3,000. There were numerous silent auction items to bid on and the Heads & Tails game. The University Singers performed again, after Dr. Bryson announced that they would be performing on Omaha Beach, Normandy, on July 4; and at the Chorale Festival in Paris, France later in the month. The piece they performed was one of the works they will sing in the festival.

The 2019 Honorary Chairs, Rodd and Martha ‘66 Staker and Event Chairs, Kevin and Tricia ’00 Lyon announced the grand total raised for scholarships — $1,065,104.

The after party in the hotel’s Old Historical Lobby, featured live music by the Saucy Jack Band and dancing.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

November 28, 2020
The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph