For many years, Newman University has hosted its annual Party on the Plaza fundraiser. Hundreds of supporters come to enjoy an evening of great food, great conversation and some live and silent auction fun.
But for the organizer of the event, the party wouldn’t happen without a large number of volunteers who work behind the scenes.
Angela Perez, advancement services data coordinator, did the majority of the volunteer organization for this year’s event. She said, “I say the same thing every year — all the volunteers are vital, we just couldn’t do it without them.”
Volunteers range from students to staff and faculty to alumni.
“It’s amazing the number of people who are willing to come out and support the event in this way,” said Perez. “I especially love seeing the alumni who return to volunteer. Because it’s our biggest fundraiser for student scholarships, it’s cool to see that cycle of them being a student who relies on scholarships and then staying in the Newman family to help raise awareness for the need for donations. For them, it has come full circle.”
Preparation for the event begins the week leading up to the big party. The menu is prepared, ingredients are ordered, tables are gathered and centerpieces are crafted by hand.
Marcelo Casenove ’13 is the current vice president on the Newman Alumni Board. He said Newman is one of three universities he’s had the privilege of attending, but Newman holds a special place in his heart.
“(Newman) has actually reached out to me not just for funds, but for human capital and service intellects. I love Newman’s faith-based modus operandi, its leadership, the sisters’ (Adorers of the Blood of Christ) drive for truth and knowledge and its fantastic student body, which, like me, once upon a time, needed direction, support and encouragement. The least I can give back now to Newman is my time, talent and treasure.”
Casenove said he and his wife have been supporting Newman scholarships and event activities since 2014 in whatever way the can contribute.
“This is our third Party on the Plaza, and we shall continue to support it. It is an optimal time to meet Newman staff, students, other alumni and listen to some of the sisters’ amazing ministerial life stories in this community and their works around the globe.”
He said he and his wife also attend Mass at St. John’s Chapel on a regular basis “in an effort to stay in touch, both spiritually and personally, with students and other Newman folks. We feel blessed to be considered part of Newman’s extended family.”