For the third consecutive year, the University of St. Francis (USF) Caritas Scholarship Ball reached a record
level of raising funds for student scholarships, announced USF President Arvid C. Johnson.
The 58th Caritas Scholarship Ball, which was on Saturday, Jan. 24, is one of the oldest ongoing events in the
area. This year’s event raised more than $350,000 for student scholarships, noted Johnson.
“We are very excited that our community—our alumni, students, parents and friends—believe in the USF
mission and support our goal of providing high-quality education to as many students as possible,”
“About 96 percent of USF students receive some form of financial assistance,” said Johnson. “And, 62
percent of USF freshmen this fall were the first in their families to attend college – as has been our norm.
It is our hope and goal to ensure that financial means are not a deterrent to keeping committed, hardworking students from achieving their dreams of a college education.”
“Our community and our country need educated and ethical workers. We are proud that USF students are
known throughout the country for being among the best in filling this need. We are also very grateful that
so many others value the university and our students. The support that we receive at Caritas is evidence of a
forward-thinking community that will continue to thrive,” said Johnson.
The Caritas Scholarship Ball welcomed 360 guests and was chaired by alumna Candice Rosen and her
husband, Dr. Steve Rosen. Mrs. Rosen is a health care and wellness advocate and researcher. She is
originator and director of the Pancreatic Nutritional Program, and has written two books. Her
second book, The Pancreatic Oath, was published in 2011. Rosen is provost, chief scientific officer
and cancer center director for City of Hope, a cancer research hospital in Duarte, Calif. He was
previously director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
and led that center to international prominence.
Co-chairs for this year’s Caritas were Mike and Kathy LaRocco. LaRocco is a retired dean of USF’s
College of Business & Health Administration, and Mrs. LaRocco is an alumna and retired
Johnson and his wife, Anne, a pension plan administrator, were hosts of the event.
The event was supported by Wintrust Commercial Banking, Joliet Bank and Trust as the gold-level
Longtime supporters of USF and founders of the Caritas event, Dorothy and the late LaVerne Brown
provided a silver-level sponsorship.
Silver sponsorships were also provided by Crowther Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc., and Brent and Jean
Wadsworth of Wadsworth Golf Construction Co. Both are longtime supporters of the university, said
Johnson, who added that an anonymous silver-level sponsorship was also received. Additional support
was provided by many other companies and individuals.
The event was at the White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville.
Along with the Rosens of La Canada Flintridge, Calif. and the LaRoccos of Chicago, the Caritas
Scholarship Ball Committee includes Duffy & Rachel Blackburn of Joliet; Cesar & Rose Cardenas of
Joliet; Terry & Michelle Cottrell of Joliet; Terry & Sue D’Arcy of Shorewood; Chris & Tammy Franklin
of Shorewood; Bill & Diane Habiger of Joliet. Ani Johnson of Downers Grove; Jim & Maryellen Klang of
Wheaton; Pat & Lora McGuire of Joliet; Mike Mikuska of Joliet; Jennifer Nocco of Joliet,
Sam & Cindy Panayotovich of Palos Park; Jesse & Phavinee Park or Burr Ridge; Tyler & Stephanie
Qualio of Shorewood; Steve & Ann Randich of Joliet; Tom & Michele Vana of Mokena; Jay & Willie
Vidmar of Plainfield; Dan & Tracey Vogen of Plainfield; and Denise Winfrey of Joliet.