USF Pivots Annual Caritas Scholarship Ball to Virtual Format

Joliet, Ill. – For over 60 years, the annual Caritas Scholarship Ball has served as the University of St. Francis’ primary fundraiser for student scholarships. This year’s 65th annual event, originally planned as an in-person event on Saturday, January 29 at USF’s Sullivan Recreation Center, is pivoting to a virtual format out of an abundance of caution in response to a large and still-growing number of COVID-19 cases in the Will County area. “Our Caritas Planning Committee, along with our Board of Trustees, unanimously felt that pivoting to a virtual format for this year’s event was necessary. Last year’s Caritas was our first-ever virtual event of its kind, and it was largely successful because of the generosity and support that is consistently demonstrated by USF alumni, friends and employees, especially when it comes to supporting our students. We are confident that this year’s event will see that level of support for our students, as well,” said USF President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D. This year’s event, hosted by Arvid & Anne Johnson, will honor the University of St. Francis Board of Trustees and will feature many of the characteristics of annual Caritas events, including a special message from the University President, a student scholarship testimonial, silent and live auctions featuring wine baskets, travel experiences, golf packages and much more. Virtual access to the event, which will begin at 6 p.m. (with the live program beginning at 6:30 p.m.), costs $100 per device/household and can be registered for now at If you are looking for a way to create a group experience, consider a Friends Sponsorships for $1,000, which allows you the opportunity to participate in a watch party either in your home or via Zoom. All participants who have already registered will be contacted by a USF staff member who will provide details regarding virtual access. Sponsorship packages, which also play an extremely important role in the success of the annual event, are still available for purchase and range from $1,000 to $10,000. Sponsorship packages include a variety of unique recognition opportunities. “One of the wonderful aspects of last year’s virtual event was the participation of USF alumni from across the country. This support help USF to provide over $23 million in institutional support to USF students, many of whom are first-generation college students. These scholarships make a difference for many students who may not be able to attend and obtain a college degree. We are confident that this pivot to a virtual event will again draw the participation of USF alumni near and far, as well as friends and other supporters of the University, in a collective effort to support USF students,” said Lisa Sampalis, USF Director of Advancement. The University of St. Francis would like to thank this year’s Caritas sponsors to date for their difference-making generosity: St. Francis Sponsors: Wintrust Commercial Banking; Old Plank Trail Community Bank; St. Clare Sponsors: Diane & Bill Habiger and Gloria & Edward Dollinger; Brown and Gold Sponsors: Barnes & Noble Booksellers; Anne & Arvid Johnson and Dede & Joe Mallof; Saint Sponsors: Sentinus Wealth Management; Bernie Sponsors: First Secure Bank; Northern Trust; Pepsi-Cola; Quest Food Management Services; Patricia & Robert Wheeler; Busey Bank; Cheryl & Kevin McCarthy; Jose Paramo; Mr. & Mrs. Victor Patterson; Ann & Steve Randich and Daniel Streitz; Friends Sponsors: Piazza & Mannerino Masonry; Silver Cross Hospital; Corey & Steve Carbery; KGG, LLC; Timothy Delrose; Dr. Iman Ellis Bowen; Francis Naal; Wilhelmine & John Vidmar; Regina & George Block; Wallace Landscape; Loretta Spesia; Candice Rosen and Timothy Delrose. For sponsorship opportunities, auction ideas, or questions, please contact Penny Basso, USF Assistant Director of the Annual Fund-Caritas, by phone at 815-740-3748 or by email at : : The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 52,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose. # #