Repurposing is so fashionable today that it made good sense to employ the former Anheuser-Busch warehouse near Washington Avenue as a 40,000 square-foot party space for Cristo Rey Jesuit's "Defining Gravity" gala. Applause, applause, it worked.
While rollicking through an international tableau of "destinations," the 1,300 guests raised $1.8 million for the high school that provides a rigorous college-prep education, tuition free, to students living in the city's most economically distressed areas.
Gala chairs Vivie and Chris O’Sullivan and the dynamic Rev. T.J. Martinez, school founder and president, envisioned the lively setting in which guests checked in at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, viewed silent auction items in Rome, dined on amazing party fare by Cordua Catering in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower and danced the night away in Central Park to the music of Party Crashers in from Los Angeles.
“Tonight, we lift up a unique mission that is blazing a trail of fire throughout the city that shines so brightly that it re-ignites the ideal and the hope that every child, no matter where they come from, has the right to an exceptional education,” Martinez exclaimed to an applauding mass of supporters.
Among those helping provide the funds for an additional 150 students to attend Cristo Rey were Mary Tere and Ricardo Perusquia, Cathy and Giorgio Borlenghi, Trini Mendenhall Sosa and Frank Sosa, Letty Knapp, Lynda and David Underwood, Raye White and Beth and Schuyler Tilney.
Religious leaders lending their support included Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Fiorenza, Sister Kevina Keating and Rev. Flavio Bravo. They were among the few in the party crowd that dressed other than the requisite "street chic" attire that was encouraged for the warehouse party.