Gesu School, an independent Catholic school run by the Jesuits in North Philadelphia, raised more than $371,000 in an event May 5.

The gala fundraiser will support the school’s mission of empowering North Philadelphia’s children to break the cycle of poverty and violence through a quality education.

The event’s 350 attendees enjoyed a display of student artwork and performances featuring the Gesu School student gospel choir and a ballroom dance routine – which debuted last year at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

Father Stephen D. Thorne, pastor of St. Martin de Porres Parish in North Philadelphia, was presented the Gesu School Spirit Medal in recognition of his commitment to Gesu School and its mentoring program for eighth grade boys.

At the Gesu Gala May 5 are, from left, Bryan H. Carter, president and CEO of Gesu School; Peter G. Gould, Gesu Spirit Medal recipient and board member of the school; Father Stephen D. Thorne, Gesu Spirit Medal Recipient and board member; and Sister Ellen Convey, I.H.M., principal of Gesu School.

At the Gesu Gala May 5 are, from left, Bryan H. Carter, president and CEO of Gesu School; Peter G. Gould, Gesu Spirit Medal recipient and board member of the school; Father Stephen D. Thorne, Gesu Spirit Medal Recipient and board member; and Sister Ellen Convey, I.H.M., principal of Gesu School.

Peter Gould, a former turnaround investor and corporate CEO who has transitioned into academia and non-profit management, also received Gesu’s Spirit Medal in recognition of his dedication to educating North Philadelphia’s children.

“We are incredibly grateful for our generous sponsors and the overwhelming support from the community which helped make this year’s annual Gesu Gala a resounding success,” said Bryan Carter, president and CEO of Gesu School. “More than 20 years ago, Gesu School paved the way as the first independent, Catholic elementary school in Philadelphia and became a model for inner-city education. Thanks to the funds we raised, we can continue in this tradition today by offering families in North Philadelphia hope for a brighter future.”

Co-directed by the Jesuits and the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Gesu School serves 450 mostly non-Catholic children in grades pre-K through eight. In a city where approximately 65 percent of public high school students graduate from high school in four years, 90 percent of Gesu alumni graduate high school on time, and of those graduates, 86 percent go on to college or post-secondary education.

For more information visit GesuSchool.org.