The 25th annual Jazz ‘N Roll festivities kick off this Saturday, Oct. 4, starting at 7 p.m. and ending at 11 p.m. in St. Paul’s School’s Briggs Assembly Center to benefit the school through an evening of silent and live auctions, as well as live entertainment from local band Bottoms Up and the St. Paul’s Marching Wolves.
Before Jazz ‘N Roll begins, a Patron Party reception will be held in La Salle Hall on the corner of Jefferson Ave. and 11th Ave. at 6 p.m., exclusively for Patron level donors.
“All of the patrons will arrive through La Salle Hall, in the courtyard,” Director of Special Events Shellie Campo said. “Keith Young’s Steakhouse will be serving all of the food in the courtyard of La Salle, as well as the courtyard between La Salle and the Briggs Center.”
The main event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Briggs Assembly Center on Jefferson Ave., across the courtyard from La Salle Hall..
“The (Marching Wolves) will perform at 6:45 p.m. in the courtyard, and they will escort us into (the Briggs Center), and that sets up the beginning,” Campo said.
According to Campo, after the band escorts the patrons into the Briggs Center, the auctions, gourmet food, drink, and festivities go into full swing, with over 250 silent and live auction items, including a stay at the five-star Portofino Resort, an autographed Drew Brees jersey, and a New Orleans Saints game weekend experience package that includes two tickets, a parking pass, dinner for two, and a hotel room.
That isn’t where the fundraising ends, however.
“We have the ‘Wolf Wheel’, where you can spend $25 and spin the wheel, and you always win something of $25 or more,” said Campo, noting that most prizes are valued at more than $25, including a Don’s Seafood gift basket and other gift certificates valued at $40 apiece. “We also have the restaurant raffle. There are seven restaurants with $100 gift certificates for each one,” Campo said.
Tribute will be paid to an alumnus of St. Paul’s, Ben Bragg, who died tragically while working on his car in 2009 at the age of 20.
“We are doing a piece for the Ben Bragg Memorial Fund,” Campo said. “His mother gave me two LSU items and one Alabama item signed by the head coaches, and that money will go the Ben Bragg Foundation, not the Jazz ‘N Roll fund.”
Public Relations Director Karen Hebert says that this will be a night to remember for attendees.
“There are adult beverages, dancing, and the LSU-Auburn game will be broadcasted on the big screen,” Hebert said. “There will be food from the north and south shore’s finest restaurants.”
Jazz ‘N Roll is one of St. Paul’s biggest fundraisers. Without it, most major improvements to the school would not be possible.
“All of the money goes to advance projects in the school. Former things that have been payed for (with Jazz ‘N Roll) are the renovations to La Salle Hall, the Briggs Assembly Center, the theater, and the main school building. The money is spent to make life better at St. Paul’s for students and faculty,” Hebert said.
Renovations are not the only things that Jazz ‘N Roll helps to bring to life, according to Development Secretary Danielle Lavie.
“Last year, (funds raised) were used to include digital electronics classes in engineering and medical intervention as a third component to the biomedical sciences program, and it was also used towards advanced placement classes in biology and American history,” Lavie said.
According to Hebert, these classes do not come without other expenses, however, including materials and the cost of teacher training.
“When we add those courses, we pay for the expenses the teacher needs to take those courses,” Hebert said. “It all goes back to making St. Paul’s a better place, especially for the students.”
The Big Deal
According to event planners, Jazz ‘N Roll festivities help make St. Paul’s the school that it is. Without it, life couldn’t go on as normal for the school.
“It’s a really fun fundraiser,” Hebert said. “If you come, you will enjoy yourself. It’s not a stuffy, boring banquet. It’s a fun way to donate money to a worthy cause.”
With almost 90 sponsors, Jazz ‘N Roll will be an event to remember that will keep the St. Paul’s community thriving for years to come.
Event tickets are $60 and can be purchased online or at the door. All ticket proceeds benefit St. Paul’s School.