Annual JESS Gala Is On for January — Despite Rumors to Contrary


2006 Master of Ceremony Dr. Joseph DeJames with former JESS Gala organizer Peggy Blitz.

Don’t believe the hype — despite rumors and the departure of key organizers, the 10th annual Julius E. Sprauve School gala will take place this year at Caneel Bay Resort on Saturday, January 13.

A number of residents, worried that the popular night would not happen this year, have been calling the resort, according to managing director Rik Blyth.

“We’ve been getting calls from people who heard the gala was off and we want to set the record straight – the gala is definitely on,” Blyth said.

Despite the departure of long-time gala organizer and Caneel Bay executive assistant Peggy Blitz, the fund raiser will not be affected, Blyth explained.

JESS Taking Lead
“Although Caneel is still ab-solutely committed to the event, because Peggy has gone and Terry and Chuck Pishko want to take a step back, we needed the school to jump in and take the leading role,” Blyth said. “We will still provide the labor, site, staff and entertainment – we just don’t have the manpower to organize the event.”

“There will be a new organizing committee this year, with the same great result,” Blyth added.
JESS officials are happy to be taking a more active role in the fund raiser, according to JESS principal Mario Francis.

“It’s definitely going to happen,” Francis said about the gala. “We are in the planning phase right now and we are in full gear. Our organizing committee has met already and we are right on schedule.”

“Love the Colors of the Rain-bow: Caring, Sharing and Unit-ing,” is the theme for this year’s event, he said, adding the event will be “better than ever.”

“Best Gala Yet”
“We’re building on our experience in the past and we’re going to have the best gala yet,” Francis said. “Last year we raised $100,000 plus, and we are looking to top that this year.”

The evening will feature cele-brity waiters and waitresses as well as the popular silent auction, Francis explained. Funds raised at the event will cover the cost of new electronic chalk boards for all grade level teachers, he added.

Electronic Chalk Boards
“We still have to finalize the details and take a final vote, but we are proposing the electronic chalk boards for this year’s project,” Francis said. “The teachers are very excited about the idea.”

The JESS gala organizing committee will release additional information in the near future, Francis added.