Your Table’s Waiting…

April 15-21, 2004
Your Table’s Waiting…
By Kristen Fox / SUN  Staff Writer
St. Thomas More Foundation Presents “All the World’s a Stage”

The St. Thomas More Foundation will host its fifth annual Spring Cabaret on Monday, April 19 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the John G. Alibrandi Catholic Center located at 110 Walnut Place. The fundraising event celebrates 97 years of Catholic campus ministry on the campuses of Syracuse University and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF).

Themed “All the World’s a Stage,” the Cabaret will feature talent from Syracuse University and SUNY ESF cultural student groups and local performers. The entertainers are slated to perform three hours worth of song, dance and other performance pieces in 15-to-20 minute intervals. Scheduled to take part in the evening are ECHO, the St. Thomas More Foundation choir; Windjammer, Syracuse University’s vocal jazz ensemble; The Mandarins, a subgroup of the university’s Women’s Choir; and The Black Celestial Choral Ensemble, the university’s celebrated college gospel choir. Local talent will include the Odessa Ukranian Dance Ensemble and the Johnston School of Irish Dance among others.

“We are lucky enough to feature the talents of Syracuse University and SUNY ESF multicultural groups headlining the Cabaret,” said Karen Trendell, coordinator of endowment stewardship donor relations at Syracuse University. “There is so much talent at these universities.” The St. Thomas More Foundation, established in 1939, supports the Catholic Campus Ministry at Syracuse University and SUNY ESF. Its faith-based mission has remained unchanged for nearly a century –– to provide undergraduate and graduate students with spiritual, educational and social enrichment as well as an opportunity to serve others. But the challenge to expand the ministry becomes greater with each passing year. Approximately 25 percent of students on campus are Catholic, forming a widely diverse community. Sustaining the ministry and ensuring its future depend on the continued generosity of foundation donors, said Trendell. “The St. Thomas More Foundation relies solely on the support of its foundation members and its friends,” she said. “That is why fundraisers are so important to the financial success of the center.” The Cabaret is the largest profit bearing fundraiser for the Foundation, said Trendell. The other major fundraiser is the Father Charles Borgognoni Golf Tournament, held in August.

Today, more than 4,000 Catholic students are served by the foundation and the center. They are the reason for the fundraising events, said Trendell. “The students are the reason we work so hard to make this event and all the events at the center a success,” she said. Father Timothy Mulligan, OFM Conv., director of the St. Thomas More Catholic Campus Ministry at the Alibrandi Catholic Center, said the evening will be a celebration of the foundation and the students it serves. “This event will bring the cultural diversity of our SU/ESF students, University Hill and the greater Syracuse communities together to celebrate almost a century of one of the largest Catholic campus ministries at secular colleges and universities in the nation,” said Father Mulligan. Trendell said the Cabaret promises to be a spirited and enjoyable time. She hopes that it will help build a stronger bond between the students and the greater community.

“The fundraiser gives us an opportunity to bring in revenue for the foundation and gather friends of the foundation –– old friends and new friends –– together,” she said. Honorary chairs for this year’s event are Joanne and Cornelius “Neil” Murphy Jr. Neil Murphy is the president of SUNY ESF. Tickets are $75 per person. A buffet-style dinner will be served featuring international cuisine, with a silent auction and cash bar throughout the evening. For more information, contact the Alibrandi Catholic Center at (315) 478-5959.

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