“I was reminding my husband for weeks to purchase the tickets,” says Cathy Sabusco, recalling what was a busy time last spring, prior to her son entering Grade 7 at St. Michael’s College School (SMCS).
Her husband Mike did follow through, eventually. “I actually purchased them on the very last day and just before the deadline,” he says.
The tickets were for the Big Blue Benefit Lottery which features a series of prizes including trips and tuition for one year.
“Funds raised through the Lottery are used immediately for students who need financial assistance.” says Kimm Bailey, Director of Advancement.
Mike continues, “We received a call to say we had won the lottery!”
Their prize? Dinner with the Basilian Fathers and three pieces of original art.
“We were very excited,” says Mike. “We won the fourth place prize. We are looking forward to the dinner.”
Cathy describes her sons’ reaction, “They are intrigued. They don’t know what to expect but they are excited to be coming with us.”
She adds, “I’m looking forward to the conversation, and to learn a little more about some of the men leading the St. Michael’s boys into becoming men themselves.”
BREAKING BREAD TOGETHER
So this month, Cathy, Mike and their two sons --- the eldest now a Grade 7 student at SMCS --- embarked on their ‘sur-prize’ adventure.
“It is a special evening in many ways,” says Bailey, who has attended every one of the six dinners. “The Basilian Fathers’ home is always a little bit of a mystery so opening their home to welcome a family is wonderful. The family gets a glimpse of the Fathers in a more relaxed and personal setting.”
Bailey adds, “Chef Jimmy Selimos of the SMCS cafeteria, gets the opportunity to flex his culinary skills with truly an over-the-top seven course meal, and best of all, a more personal relationship develops with the student and his family.”
On this year’s menu: lobster bisque, seared ahi tuna, rack of lamb and black forest cake, among other fare.
“I was struck by the ease of the conversation and mutual interest in getting to know each other,” says Mike. “It was a very pleasant and casual atmosphere and easy to feel comfortable and enjoy the terrific food and company.”
LUCK OF THE DRAW
The family also got the ‘inside scoop’ on a few other topics. “We learned about the ‘pool on the roof’ of the school and the secret to flooding the ice in the arena,” says Mike. “We were also surprised to learn that the chef who prepared dinner for us runs the school cafeteria. It was a gourmet meal and absolutely delicious! It was a wonderful evening, and very much appreciated.”
As for the couple’s young sons? “They enjoyed it and thought it was a really nice way to get to know a little more about the Fathers and the school,” says Mike. “They were both very full after the seven-course meal, but still able to squeeze in some dessert!”
A memorable evening by all accounts, thanks to a last-minute purchase.
“Kind of ironic that we won!”