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FIESTA: A Leaping Succes

March 09, 2020
By Deb Daley

Mercy High School’s FIESTA 2020 was a record-breaker with the most money raised, $420,000, and the largest crowd, 561 attendees, since the event began in 1985.  FIESTA 2020: Leaping into our Future took place on Leap Day February 29, 2020. Funds raised will support the school’s Negotiated Tuition Program, which provides tuition assistance to deserving students so they can attend Mercy. More than $1.8 million in tuition assistance is distributed annually thanks to generous donors and fundraising events like FIESTA.

Highlights of the event include: 

• Sr. Johanna Burnell, RSM, former school president, received the Cor Misericordiae Award, the highest honor the school bestows. The crowd also celebrated her 60th jubilee as a Sister of Mercy by watching a heart-warming video that outlined her life.  
 Joanne Stewart ’72 was named the 2020 Distinguished Woman of Mercy, an award given by the Mercy High School Alumnae Council.
• Student Council President Sophie Harvat ’20 thanked donors and reminded them of the impact their financial contributions have. “At Mercy, we are taught to spread love and kindness, grow in our faith, and to stand up for what is right and what we believe in. Mercy has taught me how to be the very best version of myself and to make no apologies for who I am,” she said. 
• The FIESTA 2020 Chairs were Mercy parents Eric and Nicole Liebig Lakeman ’92. They were assisted by a large cadre of volunteers, including parents and students, that made the event successful. 
• The “Fill the Monarch” segment allowed participants to make gifts in honor of Sr. Johanna’s 60th jubilee. The Lozier Foundation provided a $50,000 matching grant to jumpstart the effort. This gift was made in Sr. Johanna’s honor as she helped establish the school’s relationship with the foundation during her presidency. Close to $140,000 was raised.  
• In addition to trips, concerts, gift baskets, sport tickets, collectibles, gift cards and a myriad of other auction items, a new category of items to bid on was the Teacher Wish List. These were items that teachers asked for to help make their classroom experiences more exciting and educational for students. 
• Mercy is grateful to the hundreds of businesses and individuals who provided sponsorships, underwriting support and purchased advertising in the event’s catalog. 

Next year’s FIESTA will be held on February 20, 2021. 

Additional photos are here.