President’s Dinner to be held at end of Oct.

St. John’s will be holding its Tenth Annual President’s Dinner in the Waldorf-Astoria hotel on Thursday, October 25.

The black tie event, which will be hosted by University President Rev. Donald Harrington, C.M., will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m.

According to Jeanne M. Umland, Associate Vice President for Institution Advancement, the President’s Dinner is St. John’s biggest annual fundraiser and over the past few years has been the largest event hosted by the Waldorf-Astoria.

Last year’s gala generated over $2 million with about $1.8 million being raised in cash revenue and an additional $200,000 in donated or in-kind items to the University.
This year’s contributions are on pace to be even more than the previous year. As of October 15, more than $1.9 million in cash offerings have been given thus far, said Umland.

All funds raised go toward scholarships and other financial aid for St. John’s students.

Around 3,500 invitations are sent out for the yearly event. Invites are sent to alumni who have donated $1,000 or more to the University during the year and others are sent to other alumni and friends by the Dinner Committee.

Umland said that more than 1,200 guests are expected to attend this year’s festivities.
Along with the dinner, a highlight of the event is the annual presentation of the Spirit of Service Award.

This honor is given to those whose “vision, accomplishments and good works embody the essence of St. Vincent de Paul and reflect the vision of the University,” according to a President’s Dinner invitation.

This year’s Spirit of Service Award honorees are Elizabeth Mirante and Arthur J. Mirante II, Esq., Patricia M. Shea and Brian T. Shea and Eleanor B. Taffner and Donald L. Taffner.

Joining the tenth year of this celebration will be 14 past Spirit of Service Award honorees.

Umland feels the 2007 event will be something to remember.

“I think this year’s event will give our guests the opportunity to see how St. John’s has grown over the past ten years,” said Umland.

“This event will show everyone how wonderful St. John’s is and how it provides such a phenomenal education for our students.”