Video: Speakers, Performances Among Highlights at Fifth Annual Dream Flight Gala | Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School


Video: Speakers, Performances Among Highlights at Fifth Annual Dream Flight Gala

Guests at the Fifth Annual Dream Flight Gala.

The Fifth Annual Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School Dream Flight Gala, held October 26, 2019 at the Claremont Country Club in Oakland, included an unforgettable night of programming, all in support of deserving SJND students.

Each year, SJND’s Dream Flight Gala brings together members of the community to raise vital funds for the 60 percent of SJND students who receive tuition assistance. Thanks to our generous community, we are ecstatic to report that the 2019 Dream Flight Gala raised a record amount of $130,000 to support current and future Pilots’ dreams of receiving an SJND education.

The beautiful fall evening opened with a cocktail hour on the veranda, complete with musical performances by our exceptional student choral group, One Voice. A moving dinner program followed, hosted by alumni Mike Pola ’82 and Harrison Wilkes ’03.

We were delighted to have senior Cassandra Deleon and her family in attendance, who shared her high school journey with the audience. In 2017, upon the closure of St. Elizabeth High School in Oakland, Cassandra and 24 of her classmates transferred to SJND. Cassandra explained that although she was at first hesitant to make the transition, she has found a supportive community at SJND that has helped her grow and thrive.

“SJND has been able to open so many more doors for me. From a good education, to being able to meet such amazing and supportive people. What I love most about my education at SJND is the constant support I am given by every single one of my teachers. Even when I am at my lowest, someone is always there for me to give me a boost,” Cassandra explained.

Thanks to the support from faculty like her history teacher Mr. Rosso, Cassandra explained that she has become more confident and realized her full potential at SJND. After graduation, Cassandra hopes to attend a four-year university and pursue a degree in political science, and potentially attend law school.

The donations you make to the school offer students like myself the opportunity to receive an education that inspires us to go on to college and pursue the careers of our dreams,” Cassandra told the audience. “Thank you for your generosity and kindness in helping the students of SJND… As SJND continues to become more diverse, there are more students that are coming [to SJND] from all different backgrounds. I would like to ask you to continue to keep helping us students and our families,” she added.

The evening also included the presentation of the Christi Matri Award for Service to SJND, which the school was honored to present to Alumni Parent and longtime supporter, Rich Campbell. Rich’s support of the school includes a long list of leadership roles, including serving as the first president of the SJND Board of Trustees; co-chair of the first capital campaign - Let Every Student Soar; and one of the founding members of the Jawad Education Fund (JEF) Board of Directors, which awards tuition assistance to deserving, qualified families, and contributes to the improvement of the academic program and physical facilities at SJND. Rich’s sons, SJND Alumni Rich, Jr. ’84, John ’88 and Matt ’88, spoke of their father’s accomplishments and contributions before turning it over to former principal Tony Aiello who presented the award.

Finally, the evening concluded with an intimate performance by grammy-nominated opera singer Frederica von Stade, joined by decorated pianist Donna Stoering and SJND senior Taylor Viera. The world-renowned mezzo soprano performed an assortment of songs, including “La Vie en Rose” and “Jennie Rebecca.” She and Taylor also wowed the audience with a few dazzling duets. Applause echoed throughout the dining room during a standing ovation of their final performance.

Thank you to our attendees and sponsors, without whom the Fifth Annual Dream Flight Gala would not have been such a success:

The Kelly Family
Dan Carroll '64
James Lee '64
Robert & Stephanie Doud in name of McGuire and Hester Foundation
Harold '59 & Janet Boscovich
Brown & Brown Insurance
Brian '70 & Keri McDonald & The CapyBar
Omega Termite
Alameda Family Services
Alameda Theatre and Cinema Grill
Beacon Pointe Advisors
Brad & Rosanna Shook in name of Bladium Sports & Fitness Club
Cecile Cuttitta
William Demar '94 & Kelly DeMar
Lisa Lomba '88
Fiore & Agnes Marcheschi
RINA Accountancy LLP
Shartsis Friese LLP
Stephanie Chatman '80 Zellner in name of BMS3 Holdings
Venturini Landscaping
Vicki Wang Orthodontics
Alameda Pediatric Dentistry
ConCar Industries
Eaton & Associates

Our sincere gratitude to the Kelly Family, whose support of Dream Flight has been invaluable. All proceeds from Dream Flight directly benefit tuition assistance at SJND thanks to their generous sponsorship of the event.

If you couldn’t attend Dream Flight but would still like to provide valuable tuition assistance to an SJND student with an end of year gift, you can make an online donation or contact Mollie McFarland at, (510) 995-9456.

Click here to view more photos from the event.