75th Anniversary Gala

By Lynda Millner   |   November 26, 2019
Co-chairs of the OLMCS gala auction Cristina Ricci, Natalie Strahl, and Angela De Bruyn

Our Lady of Mount Carmel School (OLMCS) had a gala at the gorgeous Rosewood Miramar Chandelier Ballroom to celebrate their 75 years of existence. As the saying goes, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” It all began in 1944 when Reverend John Meehan along with some of the parents founded the school. It began with 30 students and now boasts 200 from K through 12. They are still on the same property but in much larger quarters, nine classrooms.

OLMCS honoree Eustacchio Guadagnini and wife, Merle

The gala guest of honor was Eustacchio Guadagnini who was one of those first students to graduate from OLMCS. He has given many hours of his time to the school throughout the years. He and his wife, Merle, sent their two sons there as well. Principal Tracie Somolon pointed out, “In the early days some of the students rode their horses to schools.” She was sure today horses would only be here in October for the Blessing of the Animals. Instead of blackboards students have SMART boards, televisions, iPads, and computers. But as Tracie says, “Many things have changed in 75 years, but the purpose of our school has remained the same, to be a family-centered school where students not only learn reading, writing and arithmetic but also how to live out their faith values.

This evening’s live auction is the way OLMCS raises money to help those who need tuition assistance. Some of these children would not be able to attend at all with tuition ranging from $6,000 to $8,000.

Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Fr. Lawrence Sayer with school principal Tracie Somolon
Longtime friends of Eustacchio, Jeanie and Frank Umanzio

Three moms were the co-chairs: Angela De Bruyn, Cristina Ricci, and Natalie Strahl who had a host of helpers for the many jobs. The room was stunning with white roses in rhinestone vases on each table. Auctioneer Tony Branquinho had the bidding paddles raised high. Fr. Lawrence Seyer is pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church where the school is located.

The evening’s blessing was this from St. John Paul II: Remember the past with gratitude. Live the present with enthusiasm. Look forward to the future with confidence. I think these kids will.


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