The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland
TPA Spring Gala Raises More Than CHF 100,000 Toward New TASIS Elementary School Building

Everything aligned for a perfect night as 178 guests arrived at TASIS The American School in Switzerland for the TASIS Parent Association’s “Building the Future” Spring Gala on the evening of Saturday, April 21. Gorgeous weather, live music emanating from multiple spots on campus, an elegant aperitivo, an incredible transformation of the Palestra, a gourmet dinner, a well-orchestrated silent auction, and a highly entertaining live auction all conspired to support the tireless TPA Gala Committee in its quest to deliver an evening that would impress those who’ve seen it all.

Gala Aperitivo

Following an enchanting outdoor aperitivo (catered by Milan’s Ivan & Masa) that featured lively conversations and a series of unique hor d'oeuvres—tortiglioni stuffed with foie gras, peanuts, and kumquats; a spoonful of beer jello served with a peanut and a purple tortilla chip (“Birra al Cucchiaio”); and creamy Italian hummus garnished with lime, spring broad beans, chervil, and 24-karat gold foil that was served in a cherry tomato cup and presented on a bed of black soy, to name just a few—guests moved inside the Palestra, where they found their flower-themed table (each centerpiece included a picture of a flower drawn by an Elementary School student), settled in for welcoming remarks from Headmaster Christopher Nikoloff and Chairman of the Board Lynn Aeschliman, and kept an eye on the large silent auction screen while enjoying a gourmet dinner catered by Cronoparty: pearl barley salad with octopus and green beans; risotto with zucchini julienne, asparagus tips, and vermouth; beef sirloin with sauteed spinach and potato gratin; and a dessert of dark chocolate cream with candied oranges and coulis.

Edward Rising

It was then time for the evening’s main event: a live auction conducted by the incomparable Edward Rising.
A private flight for two to St. Moritz in a new PC-12 NG was the first item up for bidding and fetched CHF 5000. This was followed by Gianluca di Pasquale’s “Tra i rami” (CHF 5000), a seven-night stay at the beautiful Diamonds Star of the East Resort in Zanzibar (a steal at CHF 10,000), a luxury weekend for five on a yacht in Cannes (leading the way at CHF 16,000), a private jet flight for five to Cannes on a Cessna CJ1 (CHF 10,000), Franco Gervasio’s “Lights in the Landscape—Moon in Summer Night” (CHF 5000), a day of driving a McLaren 570 and a Lamborghini Huracán (CHF 1500), Nanda Vigo’s “Cronotopo13” (CHF 6500), an AC Milan jersey signed by Leonardo Bonucci (CHF 900), an autographed Lara Gut Swiss Ski Team jersey (CHF 3000), and a set of deluxe tickets to an Andrea Bocelli concert (CHF 2000).

When it was all said and done, the 11 items featured in the live auction had combined to raise CHF 64,900!

Lamborghini Huracán Auction

The silent auction totaled 35 items—many of which were a bit more affordable!—and raised an additional €36,300 (over CHF 43,000). Leading the way were Franco Gervasio’s “Lightland N.3” (€5500), a portrait and photography session with Roberta Savelli (€3875), Felice Filippini’s “Un gesto del pittore” (€2750), a one-week stay in Capitignano (€2200), a set of white gold earrings by Rondina (€1700), a hot air balloon flight for four in Lugano (€1600), and a 38-kg wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (€1400).

Gala Auction Items

In addition to the auctions, more than 20 donated goods and services—from skiing, tennis, pilates, and yoga lessons to luxury jewelry and fashion accessories—will be raffled off on May 7, with tickets available on the TASIS campus until the day of the drawing. Please consult the Gala Auction Booklet for more details about all the items included in the raffle and the auctions.

Gala dinner

All proceeds from the “Building the Future” Spring Gala will help support the next major step of the TASIS Global Village development project: the construction of Valzonico, which will add six spacious classrooms to the main Elementary School campus. This beautiful addition will unify the TASIS campus by eliminating the need for Al Focolare, which is down the hill in Gentilino and currently serves as the School’s Early Childhood Center.

Master Architect David Mayernik’s rendering of Valzonico

While TASIS does not use donations or money generated from fundraisers to cover operating costs, all of which are funded by tuition revenue, the School has long relied upon the generosity of parents, alumni, and friends to advance its ambitious and forward-thinking Master Plan, which was first developed by classical architect David Mayernik in 1996 and is expected to be completed in 2028. (Live and silent auctions at the 2015 “Mad About Science” Gala, for example, raised CHF 120,000 toward the construction of the Campo Science Center, which now provides eight high-tech laboratories for Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Studies, and Middle School Science; three prep rooms; and two general classrooms.)

Gala music

This year’s Gala could not possibly have come together so perfectly without the countless hours of work provided by parent volunteers and the many generous donations from sponsors (Credit Suisse, Tarcisio Pasta SA, Archtailor, Air-Dynamic, Tourbillon Boutique, and SIT Immobiliare), partners (The View Lugano, Diamonds Star of the East, DJ Viky Queen, Oliodivino, Lo Sparviere, Villa Meridiana, H Edition Global Magazine, and Excellence Magazine), and members of the TASIS community.

TPA President Laura Colombo wishes to offer her sincere thanks to all those who dedicated their time, energy, and resources to help make this Gala an unforgettable experience:

This list includes, among others, the TPA Gala Committee of Brunella Pignaton, Francesca Notarbartolo, and Lorenza Fiori, whose enthusiasm and passion shaped this event; Lynn Aeschliman, Chris Nikoloff, and Bill Eichner, who supported us every step of the way; Caroline Rossi, who worked with our student artists to create the table cards; Yvonne Procyk, Zuleika Tipismana, and Jessica Surer, who supported us daily with their knowledge and extensive experience; Mark Chevalier, Brendan Shea, Kristin Pedroja, Kim Nelson, Michelle Arslanian, Jacopo Riva, and Theresa Cullen Hill, who helped promote the event; Susan Puckett and Tom Lill, who organized the sale of raffle tickets; Michele Dinelli and the rest of the Maintenance Department, who provided tireless and invaluable assistance; Todd Bearden, who took care of multimedia and other support needs; Samantha Forrest, Melody Tibbits Zanecchia, and our talented student musicians, who provided us with beautiful music; Luca Ugolotti, who managed a host of unseen but essential details; the TASIS Security and IT Departments, who ensured that everything went smoothly; Sonny Lim, who managed to survive without the Palestra while it was transformed; and all the members of the TASIS community who supported our efforts by choosing to attend the Gala. Our sincere gratitude also goes out to the Gussalli Beretta and Giuliani families, Julia Löer, Vittoria Marazzi, Natalia Milani, and all the donors who graciously provided items for our live auction, silent auction, and raffle.


Headmaster Nikoloff speaking at the gala

In his remarks at the Gala, Mr. Nikoloff expressed his enormous gratitude to Ms. Colombo and the amazing TPA Gala Committee—“whose collective devotion, talent, charm, and beauty combined to make this evening possible”—thanked all the TASIS staff and personale for their tremendous work behind the scenes, and made sure everyone in attendance understood what their presence at the event signified.

“Seeing all of you here tonight is truly a testimony to the wonderful spirit of the community at TASIS and shows how much everyone cares about the future we are building together,” he said. “I want to thank each and every one of you for your support, which will help shape our student experience for generations to come.”

More Gala Photos
See many more excellent photos from Kim Nelson and Michelle Arslanian on the TASIS SmugMug page.

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