Julius Sprauve Gala To Celebrate “Our Children: A Worthy Investment”

Senator at Large Carmen Wesselhoft was one of the celebrity waitresses at last year’s JESS gala fund raising event, and will waitress again this year. St. John Tradewinds News File Photo

The 11th annual Sprauve Gala, the Julius E. Sprauve School’s major fundraiser, is already shaping up to be bigger and better than years past.

This year’s theme is “Our Children: A Worthy Investment,” and funds raised at the January 12 event at Caneel Bay Resort will go toward several projects at the school in the areas of technology and security.

“We’re going to make sure each classroom teacher has at least two computers for their technology centers,” said Julius E. Sprauve School Principal Mario Francis. “Then, we’re going to improve our security on campus so we can have these things secured. We’ll upgrade our video surveillance system to include night vision, install better lighting in some areas so we can pick up who’s moving around the campus at night, and put security grids where necessary.”

Alumni, Celebrity Waiters
Gala guests are asked to wear black and silver to bring elegance to the event, although the color scheme is just a suggestion, explained Francis.

Tickets to the popular Sprauve gala are $75 per person, and the cost includes a four-course meal served by celebrity waiters, open bar and entertainment.

JESS alumni from 1980-1990, including Ivy Lynton, Monique Matthias and Dionne Wells will serve up the meal alongside local celebrities Governor John deJongh, St. John Administrator Leona Smith, Senator at Large Carmen Wesselhoft, St. John Fire Chief Winnie Powell and many more.

Members of the community are already stepping up to the plate to donate their services to the annual gala, including perhaps the biggest sponsor, Caneel Bay Resort, explained Francis.

“I’d like to give a special thanks in advance to the management and staff at Caneel Bay, who have been extremely supportive in the past,” the JESS principal said of the school’s benefactor. “[Managing Director] Nikolay [Hotze] is continuing the legacy with his support. I’d also like to thank all the businesses in the community who have donated so generously to our raffle ticket sales, and the parents and staff who come out and do raffle ticket sales.”

Raffle, Live and Silent Auction
Raffle prizes including dinner for two at local restaurants and hotel and airline packages for the Virgin Islands, Caribbean and continental U.S. will be up for grabs at the gala.

Raffle tickets are being sold in advance on December 8 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. John Hardware, December 15 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Starfish Market, January 5 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. John Hardware and January 12 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Caneel Bay Resort. Raffle tickets can also be purchased at JESS from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the week.

The gala will also include a live and silent auction, where guests will battle it out to win jewelry and artwork donated by local businesses. Two live bands will play during the reception, beginning at 6:30 p.m., and dinner, which begins at 7 p.m.

Seats are going fast — there were just 60 left last week — so get tickets soon at JESS. Checks should be made out to “Julius E. Sprauve School fundraiser.” And come prepared to open your wallet in support of the local K-9 public school.

“We don’t usually have a fundraising goal,” said Francis. “We leave the ceiling open. Last year we raised $115,000 and we’re hoping to raise more than the previous year, as we’ve done every year in the past.”

For more information, contact Ivy Lynton or Cleamena Duncan at Julius E. Sprauve School at 776-6336.