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Saint Francis Community Gathers for Holiday Event to Raise Money for Financial Aid

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(l-r) Mackenzie Bogart, Allison Vargas, Delaney Washington, Sydney DeFranco and Myshka Javier perform a jazz funk routine during the opening gala at Christmas At Our House.

Parents, employees, alumni and the local community came out in force to support financial aid at Saint Francis High School this past December. The generous community raised a record amount at Christmas At Our House, an annual cherished holiday fundraiser that benefits initiatives at the school.

The event has been bringing the community together for 27 years and over the course of its history, it has generated nearly $3 million for Saint Francis. Traditionally, the fundraiser had featured a holiday party, a boutique and a home tour, but this year, Christmas At Our House took on a new look. Not only was the event held on campus for the entire weekend, but for the first time, student performances were integrated into the event and were a major attraction, replacing the home tour. There were 153 polished student singers, musicians, dancers and actors who took to the main stage at the opening gala, and an additional 40 Lancers performed at the holiday boutique in rotating acts.

Organizers were thrilled at the successful partnership with the visual and performing arts departments and students to create such a well-received component of the fundraiser.

“From the Christmas boutique to the holiday student performances, we were able to highlight what is best about our school: our talented students, our beautiful campus, and our great community,” said parents Donna Mohammadi and Michelle Ott, this year’s chairs of the event. “All our Christmas wishes came true when our wonderful community came out to support Christmas At Our House.”

The fundraiser also included a champagne reception, a high tea and raffle drawings for Christmas trees and jewelry from Joe Escobar Diamonds.

Christmas At Our House plays an important role for Saint Francis because it generates vital funds for the school’s financial aid endowment. While tuition at Saint Francis is among the lowest in the region, financial aid requests continue to raise. In 2016-17, Saint Francis will distribute $2.9 million to students with demonstrated need, up from $2.75 million last year.

“This important school tradition raises funds so that families and students from all socioeconomic backgrounds can access a Catholic, Holy Cross education at Saint Francis,” said President Simon Chiu. “The tremendous success of the event this year is a direct result of the volunteer efforts of hundreds of parents and supporters and the attendance and generosity of so many members of our school community.”