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Guardian Angel Gala celebrates Catholic education in San Bernardino

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SAN BERNARDINO—The San Bernardino Catholic Elementary Schools (SBCES) held the first Guardian Angel Gala October 29 at Holy Rosary Academy. 

 Attended by Bishop Gerald Barnes, the event was held in recognition of the contributions of Catholic education in the City of San Bernardino. The two current Catholic elementary schools in San Bernardino are Our Lady of The Assumption School and Holy Rosary Academy. 

 The Gala featured an awards program that honored community members who had attended Catholic schools in the City, including some schools that have been closed. Honorees for those campuses included San Bernardino City Councilwoman Virginia Marquez, who attended the former Our Lady of Guadalupe School, Jose and Jessica Jimenez, graduates of the former St. Anthony School, and Mary Schmidt and Veronica Roybal from the former St. Bernardine School. 

 Also honored at the Guardian Angel Gala was Sister Camillus Gavigan, RSM, who received the Pillar Guardian award as a lifetime contributor to Catholic Education. Guardian Angel awards for those who in their profession or dedication support Catholic School values were given to Bill Lemann (Holy Rosary Academy), Ted Alejandre (Holy Rosary Academy), Jarilyn Long (Our Lady of the Assumption School), Scot Neudorff (Our Lady of the Assumption School), Marquez (Our Lady of Guadalupe School), Schmidt (St. Bernardine School) and Roybal (St. Bernardine School).

 The Growing Wings Angel Award was given to young adults who are preparing themselves for a career of service and/or are involved in their Catholic community. They were Alana Harp (Holy Rosary Academy), Crystal Lopez (Our Lady of the Assumption School), Jessica Jimenez (St. Anthony School) and Jose Jimenez (St. Anthony School).

 Proceeds from the event will go toward scholarships for students wishing to attend one of the San Bernardino Catholic schools. Inspired by the evening, Councilwoman Marquez pledged funding for a scholarship for the 2017-2018 year. 

 The SBCES Board hopes to hold this event as an annual recognition Gala supporting the two Catholic elementary schools. The Board also honored two special individuals by creating a scholarship for the students at the two schools. The Hope Scholarship is to honor former Holy Rosary Academy teacher Julie Paez, who was injured in the terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center on December 2, 2015. Paez attended Guardian Angel Gala.

 The second scholarship is the “What Would Jesus Do” scholarship honoring SBCES board member Henry Gonzalez, a restauranteur in the area, for his many contributions and Christian spirit. Chef Henry has donated time, resources and supported events for the schools the past two years in the spirit of Mercy. He has continuously expressed his desire to see the schools increase enrollment and to give opportunity to children in the city who may not be able to afford the extra cost of Catholic education. 

 If you want to know more about the SBCES Board and their efforts mark your calendar for Tuesday, January 31st when the SBCES Board will hold the first State of the San Bernardino Catholic Elementary Schools. At this event the Board will present their Strategic Plan updates, an itemized report on the Guardian Angel Event, a calendar of upcoming events and more. This will be a $20.00 breakfast event at the Diocesan Pastoral Center.

 For more information, please contact SBCES President Delila A. Vasquez at 909.234.6960.