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Mercy's FIESTA Soars

February 24, 2021
By Deb Daley

In the spirit of Mercy’s FIESTA 2021: Saints & Superheroes, hundreds of loyal supporters, families, alumnae and friends exemplified those roles in making the first-ever virtual FIESTA a great success. The inspirational online event on February 20, 2021, raised more than $350,000 for the school’s Negotiated Tuition Program, which provides tuition assistance to families who otherwise may not be able to attend Mercy. Close to $2 million in tuition assistance is distributed annually thanks to generous donors and fundraising events like FIESTA.

Highlights of the event include: 
•    Former school principal Sr. Corrine Connelly, RSM, ’58, received the Cor Misericordiae Award, the highest honor the school bestows. During her tenure, Sr. Corrine increased enrollment, invested in building and site upgrades, began a student recruitment program, and assisted with the first FIESTA, then named Twelfth Night, among many other accomplishments. She has been on Mercy’s Board for 20 years and has been a volunteer at the school since 2004. 
•    Student Council President Carolyn Klein ’21 thanked donors and shared how Mercy has personally impacted her as a person of faith, a leader and a soon-to-be college student studying Communications: “Mercy creates a home and a family. Being in an all-girls, diverse and empowering environment makes us all feel on top of the world every day.”  
•    During the “Raise the Paddle” segment, participants made gifts in honor of Sr. Corrine.  Gene Wilczewski, Sr. Corrine’s old high school friend, generously provided a $25,000 matching grant to jumpstart the effort. Over $90,000 was brought in to support tuition assistance.  
•    Auction items included travel adventures, sports packages, dining experiences, gift baskets and certificates, collectibles and more. Participants also bought chances in a $10,000 raffle drawing. 
•    The FIESTA 2021 Chairs were Mercy parents Eric and Nicole Liebig Lakeman ’92. They were assisted by a large cadre of volunteers including parents, students and alumnae. 
•    Mercy is grateful to the hundreds of businesses and individuals who provided sponsorships, underwriting support and purchased advertising.

Next year’s FIESTA will be held on February 19, 2022.