Casablanca comes to life at University of St. Francis

JOLIET, Ill.—Humphrey Bogart, or at least a life-sized statue, greeted guests to Caritas 2011 at the University of St. Francis. The “Bogey” statue is just one of the ways the theme “Casablanca” will be brought to life on Jan. 29.

Many will remember the classic 1942 film “Casablanca,” starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and set in the Moroccan City of Casablanca. It is the story of a man who must choose between his love for a woman and helping her and her resistance leader husband escape to continue the fight against the Nazis. Caritas chairpersons Ed and Cheryl Jarot, of Plainfield, recreated the ambience of Rick’s Café through décor, music and other special touches, such as the Bogart statue.

“’Casablanca’ has always been one of our favorite films and we can see it coming to life to be enjoyed at Caritas 2011,” said Cheryl Jarot. From décor that creates a “diner-like” setting with large Casablanca ceiling fans to ice sculptures of Bogey and Bergman silhouettes and a live piano player whose repertoire will feature “As Time Goes By” to premium auction items that include the life-size statue of Bogey and a neon sign for “Rick’s Café,” attention to detail made Caritas 2011an evening to remember, according to the Jarots.

Caritas is made possible through the generosity of many, including major sponsors such as Northern Illinois Steel, Henry Bros. and Fifth Third Bank. Guests may participate in the Caritas raffle; the grand prize is a 3-D home theater package provided by Grants Electronics, Appliances and More.

The gourmet dinner will be by Jewell Events Catering, and Orchestra 31 will provide the entertainment. USF’s own online auction featured top-of-the-line kitchen appliances; an Apple iPad; Vera Bradley bags; furs by a`la Mode Boutique in Naperville; tickets to Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks and Bulls events; golf packages; restaurant gift certificates; handmade jewelry; and artwork, plus much more.

Caritas, which in its 54th year, is one of the oldest black tie events in the region and has raised more than $3 million to fund scholarships and programs at the University of St. Francis. Caritas features gourmet cuisine, top entertainment, a raffle and the university’s own online auction of luxury items.
The 2011 Caritas Committee includes Eric and Ruth Bass, of Channahon; Jay and Lori Bergman, of Joliet; Scott, Jr. and Debra Crowther, of Shorewood; Jeff and Shannon Jarot, of Plainfield; Mukund and Shirin Komanduri, of Aurora; Al, Jr. and Tammy Paolucci, of Shorewood; Tyler and Stephanie Qualio, of Shorewood; Jason and Lexi Schladenhauffen, of Shorewood; Jeff and Shannon Serr, of Shorewood; and Rod & Renee Tonelli, of Shorewood.

The Paoluccis, Stephanie Qualio and Lexi Schladenhauffen are alumni of the University of St. Francis.
The University of St. Francis in Joliet serves 3,400 students nationwide, offering 40 undergraduate programs, four degree-completion programs and 14 graduate programs, including a doctorate in nursing practice. Programs are offered in arts and science, business, education, nursing and health care and social work. For information, call (800) 735-7500 or visit