By Rudy Perez ‘24

On Saturday, Feb. 24, marked the fifth annual Be Exceptional Gala. This year, it was held at the Loews Hotel in Chicago.

The gala is a chance for alumni, current, and future members of the Crusader community to gather and honor Brother Rice.

Vice President of Development and Assistant to the President Mike Zunica said, “The Be Exceptional Gala continues to be Brother Rice’s largest fundraiser. An exceptional night was had by all. Our fifth annual event was attended by over 400 Brother Rice faithful supporters as well as four incredible honorees.”

This year’s gala was the most successful one yet, raising $470,000. This will help the Crusaders greatly, because 85% of the students will receive help with tuition.

Junior Conner Stack said, “The Brother Rice Gala was an amazing and successful night. I enjoyed representing my class at the gala and receiving feedback from alumni. The event shattered records, and I am proud that the Brother Rice community is continuing to make 99th and Pulaski a better place.”

Having Crusader students work the event is a great way for donors to meet kids that actively attend Rice, and meet who their money is going to.

Also, having students work the gala is a great way for them to learn more about Brother Rice. Crusaders from every decade since the 60’s were in attendance, sharing stories and having a good time.

Senior Tommy Amado said, “My favorite part of working the gala was talking to people. It was great meeting new people and seeing some familiar faces I haven’t seen in a while. I also enjoyed sharing my experience at Rice and hearing about other stories from people who came before me.”

The Crusader community is really excited about the future opportunities available because of the gala. The 2024 Be Exceptional Gala was a huge successs and Brother Rice looks forward to another successful gala next year.