Under a canopy of pastel umbrellas and twinkling lights, and enveloped by the scent of a large garden’s worth of fresh flowers, Loras College inaugurated the premier Loras Legacy Ball on May 5. The theme, “A Springtime in Paris,” paid homage to Bishop Mathias Loras’ French roots.
The signature fundraising event focused on raising support for student aid. The evening highlights included a French dance demonstration, Parisian cuisine and musical performances by Loras students and faculty. The ball exceeded expectations, welcoming 250 attendees and raising $310,000 through live auctions, sponsorships and with the opportunity to “fund a scholar.”
But the evening would not have been possible were it not for dedicated volunteers, including members of the Board of Regents, the National Alumni Board, Loras Network of Dubuque and community leaders.
Stars among the volunteers were Jeanne Quann, Susan Steele and Julie (Kalb) White (’77), all of Dubuque. It was Jeanne’s creative vision that added elegance and made the evening an “experience” for guests. Jeanne’s gift for design created an event that featured Paris scenes, garden seating, a flower vendor cart and a breathtaking ambience of soft lights and spring color. Jeanne designed the décor and also worked tirelessly at committee meetings and in the days prior to the event, arranging flowers, gathering décor and setting centerpieces.
Regarding her pivotal role in the ball, Jeanne, said, “It was my treasured friend, John Schmidt, who asked me to be on the committee. I was delighted. It was a fun group to work with. Julie White and Susan Steele are talented and very hard workers.”
Susan Steele also was instrumental in creating the event, including preparing 100 umbrellas for hanging, each with a string of lights, building the photo backdrop and lending personal items. For Susan, helping with the event was an expression of her fondness for the College.
“Students, professors, administrators; they do not have a monopoly on their love for Loras. Dubuque, our community as a whole, loves Loras. I am blessed to know such wonderful people,” she said.
Julie White (’77) did whatever it took to install umbrellas and lights from the ceiling and entryway of the ballroom. She said, “I feel Loras is important to the community. I want to do what I can to support this special place.”
Also volunteering to help make the event a success were Martha Doyle and 50 Loras students.
Master of ceremonies Bob Kaliban (’55) lent his time and talent. Committee members Chair Creed Waelchli, (‘97), John Schmidt, regent, and Jeff Potts (’82) volunteered as members of the event committee soliciting sponsors. Committee member Amy Kemp (’08), managed the marketing and communication needs.
Based on the success of this year’s ball, Loras is committed to making it an annual event. Susan Steele has agreed to chair this coming year’s ball, and is already planning the décor with a theme related to the Kentucky Derby. Please mark your calendar for Friday, May 4, 2018.