Second annual Yuletide Ball deemed a success by CAT

Thomas Celona

CAT held its second annual Yuletide Ball featuring a silent auction to benefit the Augustinian Volunteers last Friday.

Held in the Villanova Room in Connelly Center beginning at 8 p.m., the Yuletide Ball continued a tradition that began last year during Merry Christmas Villanova Week. Admission to the event cost $5.

The idea for the ball came about after the Inaugural Ball for University President Rev. Peter Donohue, O.S.A., last September.

“It was so popular, we thought it’d be fun to have another on-campus ball for students,” said Brian Burkhard, CAT’s graduate assistant. Burkhard organized the ball along with fellow graduate assistant Ralph Gigliotti.

Over 100 students attended this year’s event.

The ball featured catering, hot cider and cocoa from Dining Services and cheesecake and other frozen deserts from an outside company.

Students at the ball could also take advantage of Clearly You Laser Crystal Imaging, which creates 3D images of a person’s face inside optical crystal.

The service was offered to students free of charge by CAT.

New this year, the event also featured a silent auction.

There were 12 items up for bid, including guaranteed housing for the ’07-’08 school year and a chance to attend dinner and a Villanova basketball game with Donohue.

The guaranteed housing was the top-selling item, bringing in $750.

Altogether, the auction raised nearly $12,000, according to Burkhard and Gigliotti.

All of the proceeds from the auction went to the Augustinian Volunteers.

“Our director Tom Mogan was in conversation with the Augustinian Volunteers and contacted us with the idea for an auction that would work in conjunction with the Yuletide Ball,” Gigliotti said.

The Augustinian Volunteers is a group of men and women between 21 and 29 who serve with educational, health service and social organizations across the country.

According to the organization’s Web site, the program is also designed to develop an individual’s personal and spiritual development in accordance with Augustinian values.

The Augustinian Volunteers was founded by the Rev. Joseph Mostardi, O.S.A., at the request of Rev. John Deegan, O.S.A. .

The group strives to provide service opportunities for young adults that match up with peoples various skills and interests in order to maximize the experience and make a lasting impact on everyone involved.

Burkhard and Gigliotti both said they were pleased with the turnout for this year’s event and what it does for the Villanova community.

“I think it’s a good capstone event for the Merry Christmas Villanova Week,” Burkhard said.

Gigliotti reinforced the Yuletide Ball’s role in developing holiday spirit on campus.

“It really brought members of the student body together to celebrate Christmas,” he said.