Sunshine and warmth marked the Sixth Annual Kino Border Initiative Dinner, a yearly event that recognizes the important mission of the KBI and helps to fund it.
Both the weather and spirits were radiant on Saturday, February 20, as dinner guests arrived at the courtyard of St. Francis Xavier School in Phoenix for the KBI’s Sixth Annual Dinner. The yearly event is a cornerstone of the KBI’s fundraising efforts, and provides an occasion for supporters to come together to acknowledge the good work accomplished as well as the ongoing need to aid and advocate for our migrant brothers and sisters.
KBI staff—less a few who were felled by the flu—were joined by board members, volunteers, and committed supporters, 275 strong. Altogether, with ticket sales, silent and live auctions, sales of table centerpieces, and a final appeal by KBI Board Chair Lucy Howell at the end of the evening, the KBI raised more than $122,000 for its direct aid, education, advocacy and research programs, with more gifts coming in!
During the pre-dinner reception, attendees mingled, enjoyed an open wine, beer, and water bar and hors d’oeuvres offered by Brophy Kino Teens, and checked out the selection of silent auction items, placing bids on bountiful gift baskets, tickets to Diamondbacks and Cardinals games, Suns box seats, a painting by a KBI migrant, a moving photograph of the Pietá in St. Peter’s Basilica, and an artfully custom-painted and –upholstered chair. Father Sean welcomed everyone, introducing Dinner Committee co-chairs Debbie DiCarlo and Darci Haydukovich and other committee members as well as the KBI staff and board members in attendance. Debbie and Darci, both of whom work full-time, were the organizational brains behind this year’s event resulting in record-breaking attendance. At dinnertime, the guitar strains of Paul Fisko’s Spanish rendition of the Suscipe, a prayer by St. Ignatius of Loyola, drew the guests into the school gymnasium, now transformed into a festive dining hall. There, Frank Camacho took on the Master of Ceremonies responsibilities and chef Vincent Guerithault delivered a memorable dining experience, aided by 38 attentive Brophy student servers.
After a blessing from Bishop Eduardo Nevares, Father Sean opened the program with remarks about the KBI’s bi-national, collaborative ministry at the border, and service landmarks of the past year—in 2015, the KBI served nearly 43,000 meals, provided first aid to more than 3,500, and sheltered close to 500 women and children. Father Sean touched on Pope Francis’s designation of this Jubilee Year of Mercy and his recent six-day trip to Mexico, events that resonate with the mission of the KBI and help raise awareness about the migrant experience and our responsibilities to those who are vulnerable and suffering. A video produced by Brophy teachers and alums Pete Burr, ‘07 and Thomas Ackels, ‘11 underscored this point, with footage of migrants at the comedor and interviews that made clear the painful toll of family separation that so many migrants endure.
This year, the Pope Francis Award for extraordinary service to the KBI was presented to Jeanne and Jack O’Brien, long-time KBI supporters and members of the Order of Malta. The award was a migrant portrait painted and donated by Pamela Hoffmeister. The live auction, orchestrated by television newscaster Rick DeBruhl, was another highlight. Like last year, attendees hotly competed for a dinner with Father Sean at Vincent’s Restaurant in Phoenix, and a border weekend complete with a KBI tour and a gourmet dinner prepared by Father Sean and Father Pete Neeley at the Jesuit Community in Nogales Arizona. This last item was so popular—and Father Sean in a chef’s hat and apron, so confidence-inspiring and fun—it sold twice! Indeed, last year’s winners, Tom and Patty McCabe, enjoyed their experience so much, word must have gotten around. (See “A Day at the KBI” from the November 2015 newsletter: https://www.kinoborderinitiative.org/a-day-at-the-kbi/.)
As the evening concluded and guests began to make their way home, the warm feelings as well as a sense of renewed commitment linger. The success of the event and the ardent support of the guests and other donors allow the KBI to continue its critical work at the border. The KBI is ever-grateful to be able to serve in this way and thankful to all of you who make this possible.
Watch for a Save-the-Date for the Seventh Annual KBI Dinner to be held in the new, spacious Anderson Parish Hall at St. Francis Xavier School in Phoenix.
To watch the video presented at the dinner, entitled Kino Border Initiative: Lives and Values on the Line, please go to: https://vimeo.com/151947865. You can also link to this video from the KBI home page (lower lefthand corner) while checkingout other KBI news: https://www.kinoborderinitiative.org/.
It most certainly “takes a village.” Many thanks to all who donated to the Sixth Annual Kino Border Initiative Dinner and who made this annual fundraiser possible, specifically: co-chairs Debbie DiCarlo and Darci Haydukovich and the entire Phoenix Dinner Committee, including Curt Hench and St. Patrick’s for design and printing of the invitations and programs; St. Francis Xavier School for hosting the evening for the past four years; Mary Novotny, Lisa Grant, Mary Johnson for addressing and mailing the invitations, organizing dinner set-up, and preparing the delectable reception appetizers; Maldonado Medical for the wine; the Desmond Family for procurement and display of the auction items; the Kino Teens and other students from Brophy College Preparatory, enlisted by Loyola Academy science teacher Cooper Nagaki (Brophy ’11), for reception and dinner service; The Society of St. Vincent de Paul for the Pietá photograph; artist Pamela Hoffmeister for her exquisite migrant portrait for the Pope Francis Award; Frank Camacho for covering emcee duties; Brophy teacher Paul Fisko for his beautiful rendition of the Suscipe in Spanish; Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo Nevares of Phoenix for his opening blessing; Kathy Desmond and her team of volunteers for organizing linens and table centerpieces; chef Vincent Guerithault for his culinary gifts and fine meals; St. Francis Xavier parents for plating the dinners and clearing the gym in record time, and Ron Meyer who supervised; Brophy teachers Pete Burr and Thomas Ackels for the marvelous video of the KBI’s work at the border; Rick DeBruhl for a successful live auction; Patti Thoeny, Cura Personalis Coordinator at St. Francis Xavier, for organizing the volunteer set-up and clean-up crew; Nick Patton, the school’s Maintenance Supervisor for overseeing all the comings and goings of volunteers, equipment and food; St. Vincent de Paul for the delivery, pick-up, and washing of dishes, silverware and glasses; KBI staff and board members for their invaluable assistance, and Board Chair Lucy Howell, who has organized these dinners in the past and helped make this year’s fundraiser possible; and Larry Hanelin for capturing the entire event in images that we share here. Thank you, all!