African X-Pedition Successful, Fun
The song is wrong. The lion did anything but sleep the night of March 14 when the Serengeti descended on St. Xavier High School for X-Travaganza 2009: An African X-Pedition.
More than 500 guests roared over good food and the great atmosphere of Cincinnati’s premiere charitable auction event. The X-Pedition netted more than dollars for the benefit of the students of St. Xavier. The X-Pedition again brought the family of St. X together.
“X-Travaganza is built on community spirit,” said Margo Locaputo, X-Travaganza director. “X-Trav serves such an important function in the school for the community building. People buy into it. From the gift-gathering parties, to the phonothons, to the actual night of the auction, people want to be part of this. It’s grown to over 900 people, and these are the people who are the backbone of the school.”
“It was such an easy and great way to help so many people,” said Tina Hawking, who chaired the event with her husband, Andy. “The level of commitment and dedication that preceded us was so amazing, that we knew it would be successful. It was our distinct pleasure to have been a part of such a great event.”
The entire Hawking family participated in the fun. Drew Hawking (2009) served as the on-stage spotter for auctioneer Lance Walker. Brian Hawking (2011) helped display some of the items up for bid. Daughter Clare Hawking – home from Chicago for the weekend – helped keep an eye on one of the auction items her family obtained, a chocolate Labrador puppy.
“Her name is Bea, Tina said. “It sounds like ‘bee,’ but it’s really short for Beaufort in South Carolina. We have a Georgia at home already and she’s getting along well with her new family.”
Steve Frey (’80) won the $20,000 top prize in the Grand Raffle. John Frey – who lives on the same street as Steve and is a 1980 classmate, though the two are not related - won the $5,000 third prize. The late Dr. Robert Thierauf (’51) won the $10,000 runner-up prize.
“It was electric,” Margo said of the auction night and raffle drawing. “Really the night of the event our job is finished. It’s up to the people in the room to bid and make things exciting, and they did.
“The secret to X-Travaganza – to getting that electricity in the room that night - is continuity. You’re training new people all the time, but the old people are there as advisors. It’s the blending of the old guard with the new that keeps some of the traditions but keeps it fresh, too. We’re very fortunate. People are so generous with their time and with their gifts.”
Mark the calendar now for X-Travaganza 2010, to be chaired by current parents Rosanne and Gene Colleran. First night is scheduled for Friday, March 12, followed by the main event Saturday, March 13.