Record Breaking Gala 2012 — Under the Big Top
Friends of Brownell-Talbot School celebrated the School’s 148-year tradition of educational excellence in the Omaha area during this year’s Gala, “Under the Big Top.” The event, held on the B-T campus May 11, raised a record-breaking $550,500 to support Brownell-Talbot School’s general operating budget. The Gala was an evening to remember for the record 440 guests and 95 adult and student volunteers.
Headmaster Dianne Desler, Ringmasters (event chairs) Suellen Willett and Debbie Wood, and Honorary Chairs the Family of Clifton and Anne Batchelder, welcomed guests into the Scott Gymnasium where the silent auction was held. Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as they bid on more than 500 items displayed. Special guests included incoming Head of School Sylvia Rodríguez Vargas and her husband Brian Vargas.
For dinner, guests moved into the Big Top — a 9,900 square-foot tent where they enjoyed a wonderful meal prepared by caterer Hap Abraham.
After dinner, a fun video collage of photos from throughout the school year was shown. The video allows the audience a peek into student life at Brownell-Talbot and honors the Schools’ families and teachers for their positive influence. A second, special video honored Headmaster Dianne Desler who will retire June 30 with more than 42 years of service to the School.
Brownell-Talbot graduate Scott Moore, ’84, conducted the auction. He raised a record a total of $317,000 during the live auction. The auction brought in top bids for such items as:
• Scholarships ($122,000)
• Sponsor Student Programs ($63,000)
• Honor Retiring Headmaster Dianne Desler ($45,800)
• Reserved Parking Spaces ($32,000)
• A Year in the Life of Your Child Photo Package ($14,000)
This year’s Gala steering committee chairs were: Kathy Bartels; Danielle Brown; Jill Bydalek; Laura Crosby; Kathy Emery; Bethany Graves; Sarah Haskell; Tom Kerr; Suzanne Kotula; Liz Mazzotta; Barbara Miller; Jenny Rich; Melissa Schafer; Linda Siffring; Stacy Simon; and Jan Vrana.
Because the School is independent, it receives no funding from the government, or from outside affiliations. Tuition covers only 86 percent of the annual operating budget. The Gala annually helps fulfill the additional funding needs for the School.