Local high school raises $475,000 to kick-off next 100 years


On Saturday, Oct. 21, Saint Mary’s Catholic High School celebrated 100 years in Catholic secondary education with a Centennial Gala at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix attended by over 600 guests, many of whom are alumni of the school.

Co-chaired by Beth Wand, director of operations at Sunland Water Company, and Barbara Bandura, first vice president at MidFirst Bank, the gala raised over $475,000, to support the students and work of Saint Mary’s Catholic High School as it enters its second century, according to a press release.

Sponsored by: Southwest Ground Control, The Andre Ethier Family and Arizona Leadership Foundation, the evening included a raffle, silent and live auctions and dancing, with entertainment provided by brass band, The Lucky Devils.

“Saint Mary’s holds such a special place in the hearts of so many. The school has truly transformed and grown right alongside of the city of Phoenix,” said Ms. Bandura in a prepared statement.

The night featured a touching recap of the school’s transformation and accomplishments over the last century, remarks from The Most Rev. Eduardo A. Nevares, Rev. Robert Bolding and Rev. John Parks and ended with a toast to the next century.

“It has been so fun to see the community come together to support the school and more importantly, the students within it, we can’t wait to see all that they accomplish,” Ms. Wand said in a prepared statement.

Other attendees who helped celebrate Saint Mary’s 100 years of excellence in education, included emcees, Mark Hart from Life Teen and SMHS alumna Nicolle Hernandez Cunningham from Passport Media LLC.

The funds raised from the gala will directly support the enhancement of the liberal arts curriculum, the improvement of athletic training spaces and the education of students for generations to come through academic scholarships.

Saint Mary’s Catholic High School is in Phoenix at 2525 N. Third Street.

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