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Sunday, December 16 , 2018, 1:02 pm | A Few Clouds 63º


Bishop Diego High’s 50th Anniversary Gala Is Much More than ‘Dinner and a Movie’

School rolls back the years as alumni and current parents raise $249,000, including $152,000 for the vital Adopt-A-Student program

Bishop Garcia Diego High School kicked off its celebration of 50 years of service to the Santa Barbara community with its annual Gala Dinner and Auction last month, inviting guests to recall what 50 years ago was really like; images of Elvis and James Dean were intermingled with silent auction items. The theme, “Dinner and a Movie,” played out as guests dined family-style. All heads turned to enjoy the recreation of a drive-in theater, as 320 guests viewed clips of vintage films during dinner and descriptions of live auction items during the bidding. Classic vehicles of the era dotted the school’s interior courtyard; some guests even dashed home to return with their own vintage autos!

The evening was bustling with bidders, including alumni who recalled good times as they made their transition to the new campus in 1959, from their predecessor school, Catholic High. Community leaders, alumni and parents joined together to raise $249,000 for the school, $152,000 of which will benefit the Adopt-A-Student program, which provides tuition assistance to 60 percent of the student body.

This year, the school honored Peggy and Mario F. Borgatello; their children, David and Louise Borgatello and Mario A. and Judy (Pahler) Borgatello; and MarBorg Industries. The Borgatello family stands head and shoulders among many who have helped write the rich tradition of Catholic education in Santa Barbara.

In keeping with the 50th anniversary celebration, the school honored David Borgatello as a member of Bishop’s first graduating class in 1960 and a current trustee of the school. Judy and Mario A. Borgatello are both Bishop graduates from the Class of 1962. The Borgatello legacy continues at Bishop with the graduation of Peggy and Mario Borgatello’s grandchildren. Today their great grandchildren attend Bishop.

Memories of 1959 were everywhere at Bishop Diego High's 50th anniversary celebration.
Memories of 1959 were everywhere at Bishop Diego High’s 50th anniversary celebration. (Debbie Herrera photo)

Guests included Marisa and Brett Grimes; Ursula Krebs; Judge William McLafferty and his wife, Carol; Patrick Nesbitt; Judge Frank Ochoa and his wife, Paula Lopez; Kitty and David Peri; Ruth and Larry Sleep; and Ashley and Tim Snider of Fess Parker Winery, who provided wine for the evening festivities. School trustees present were John Gherini, board chairman, and his wife, Mary Ann; Patty and Mark Aijian; Tina and Peter DaRos; Christine and Bob DeVries; Lynda and Rusty Fairly; Maria and Joe Fazio; Ruth and Peter Georgi; Melissa and Ralph Iannelli; Carla and Des O’Neill; Lynette Patters and B. Williams; and Mary Beth and John Tynan.

Click here for more information about Bishop Diego High, 4000 La Colina Road.

— Debbie Herrera is admissions director at Bishop Diego High.

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