Seton Catholic School Hosts "A Night to Remember...In Venice"

The coronavirus pandemic upended America’s school systems over the past 13 months as most schools in the nation closed their doors for an extended period to combat the spread of the virus. “Virtual learning” became an everyday term in our households, sports and extracurricular activities were cancelled, major fundraisers were delayed, and school boards became one of the most highly visible leadership groups in the country.

Like all local schools in Northeast Ohio, Seton Catholic School in Hudson, OH has faced unprecedented obstacles since March of last year. Seton closed its doors in mid-March, along with all other Ohio schools, and students and teachers alike learned how to navigate a virtual classroom until the end of the school year. Over the summer, as parents eagerly awaited word regarding the upcoming school year, Seton Catholic School’s Leadership Team and Board of Directors worked tirelessly on a safe plan to bring students back full-time at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. They succeeded. Seton Catholic School students have been in the classroom with zero subsequent all-school shut-downs since August 26, 2020. While Seton’s leadership was successful in re-opening the school, the school’s annual fundraising gala had to be postponed indefinitely. 

Seton Catholic School’s “Night to Remember” is the school’s single largest fundraising event. Typically held in November of each year, Seton’s “Night to Remember” brings Seton families together to celebrate the school with a night of giving, food, music, and fun. The silent auction offers a wide variety of donated items available to the Seton community. From trips to Puerto Rico, Disney World and Europe to gift certificates to local businesses, parents and friends of Seton bid on items with funds that ultimately purchase new technology for the school, allow students to attend field trips, provide new learning tools and resources, and more. It is safe to say that a “Night to Remember” is a necessary piece to Seton’s high-quality education.

Again, Seton Catholic School’s Leadership Team was called upon. And, again, they delivered. A “Night to Remember...In Venice” was held – virtually – on March 6, 2021. The Italian-themed event included delicious baskets for all ticket holders with pizza-making kits, olives, Italian cookies and snacks, pasta and sauce, prosecco, wine, and more, most of which was purchased from Alesci’s in Solon. A production company livestreamed the event from the school where teachers, faculty and staff enjoyed a socially-distanced gourmet Italian meal. Students pre-filmed videos (some in Italian!) that were aired during the livestream and families enjoyed the night via Zoom from the comfort of their own homes. The Grand Prize raffle for two Vespa Primavera 150 scooters sponsored by the Ron Marhofer Auto Family was a coveted ticket. Other Italian-themed raffles included a Gervasi Vineyard getaway, Gucci and Louis Vuitton bags and an Italian wine basket. Families decorated their homes in Venice and Italian themes and dined family-style. It truly was a night to remember. 

Event chairs Anthony and Cassie Frammartino were very excited to host the Venice-themed event. “We are so thankful for the support of the Seton Community in making ‘A Night to Venice’ the most successful fundraising gala in the history of our school. While we would like to think it was thoughtful planning, in reality it was a year where people were passionate about supporting Seton's exceptional leadership, teachers and students and the resilience shown by school community in the face of tremendous challenges. Although we were disappointed not to be able to celebrate in person, the Italian theme lent itself to a virtual celebration that showcased the rich Italian culture and allowed guests to celebrate with friends and family at home! My husband, Anthony, is 100 percent Italian. Anthony's father, Vincenzo, immigrated from Reggio di Calabria when he was 13-years-old, and his mother's family is from the Abruzzi Region. Both Anthony's mother and father maintain close ties to their relatives still in Italy, and their Italian traditions and heritage are very important to them.”

One of the most coveted silent auction items this year was lunch with school secretary Mrs. Lenora (Lee) Dupay, née Liotta, whose family hails from Sant'Agata di Militello and Villarosa, Sicily. “I loved this year’s ‘Night to Remember’ event because of the Italian theme. The sets portraying the landscapes and towns of Italy decorating the school and displayed during the livestream event were beautiful. All the great videos with the children speaking Italian and being so Italian leading up to the event warmed my heart. Even the Italian-filled baskets of different Italian foods and sweets added to the excitement of the event. It was truly done Italian Style! Viva Italia!”

Principal Karen Alestock addressed Seton parents after the event saying, “I am so proud of our presentation of ‘A Night to Remember…in Venice’ and hope that you enjoyed yourselves, virtually. I am truly grateful to you, our Seton Parents, for supporting us, and believing that we could provide you with A Night to Remember…even during a pandemic! Grazie! Grazie!”