JESS Gala Finance Committee Explained


This year Julius E. Sprauve School, in partnership with Caneel Bay Resort, has celebrated the 11th Annual Sprauve Gala. Because of the consistent support of the entire community, this event has evolved into one of St. John’s premier annual events.

Since its inception, the gala, as an event which unites the community in the interest of children, has been well received. Our motto, “Making it Better for Our Children” has been a rallying point for the kindness and generosity we have seen, and this year’s theme, “Our Children – a Worthy Investment” kept our purpose in focus.

The Sprauve School Gala started as a post-Hurricane Marilyn idea to bring the community together and help the school raise funds to augment the school’s meager resources.

Former Principal, Shirley Joseph and then Managing Director of Caneel Bay, Luis Agote, planned and threw an elegant party at Caneel in six weeks in the winter of 1997-98. The funds that were raised from that gala were utilized to gut and restore the art classroom and assume travel expense for our counselor and a teacher to attend off-island conferences to enhance their skills in behavior management.

In 1999 the then new Managing Director, Brian Young, embraced the annual fund raising idea and continued the tradition. The Julius E. Sprauve School Fundraiser Finance Committee was established to formalize and continue the fund raising effort started two years earlier by Joseph and Agote.

This committee presides as the custodian of the funds and will release them only after they have met and voted unanimously on proposals submitted by the school. The members of the Finance Committee are listed below:      

Myron Allick            President
Malcolm Preston    Treasurer
Sis Ruth Frank        Secretary
Nikolay Hotze         Managing Director, Caneel Bay Inc.
Leona Smith           St. John Administrator
Faye Fredericks      JESS Librarian                                  
Evans Doway          PTSA, President
Mario Francis         Principal

In 2005 Rick Blyth became the Managing Director when Agote was promoted. Blyth also committed to the Sprauve School Annual Gala which was in its tenth year.  

In 2007 Blyth resigned his post at Caneel Bay and Nikolay Hotze took the post of Managing Director. He too upheld Caneel Bay’s continued commitment to JESS. Over the years the community’s generous contributions has totaled in excess of a half of a million dollars.

We the community as a whole should continue to be proud of this collaborative effort despite the odds, and continue to be confident that together we can “Make it Better for Our Children” and that they are a “Worthy Investment.” We are grateful for all the support we have received and look forward to seeing you at our Twelfth Annual Sprauve School Gala.

Mario Francis
JESS Principal