Farm to Table Dinner Thanks Donors, Supports Boylan and Builds Community
By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
September 16, 2021
ROCKFORD—A long, family style table in the courtyard at Boylan Central Catholic High School provided an air of Tuscany for the school’s Farm to Table Dinner. 
The event, held Sept. 11, recognized and thanked the school’s Bishop Lane Society donors while building community among its members.
“The society is named after Bishop Loras T. Lane, who was bishop of the Rockford Diocese when Boylan opened in 1960,” said Jeff Marrs, Boylan’s director of advancement. 
“Bishop Lane Society donors are alumni, parents and community members who give $1,000 or more annually to the school,” he explained. “Their gifts go to support our Annual Fund, which invests in curriculum, operating expenses, building maintenance and tuition assistance to the 46% of our students who receive financial aid during the school year.” 
The dinner started in 2018 to thank 224 Bishop Lane donors for their generosity.
“The Bishop Lane Society is really the backbone of our advancement program at Boylan,” Marrs said. 
“We want to support any student who wants a Catholic education and the contributions of the Bishop Lane Society help us with that mission,” said Nancy Voss, vice-chair of Boylan’s board of consultors and the sponsor of the Farm to Table Dinner. 
“The Farm to Table Dinner is not funded by our donors,” she added. “It is a chance for them to be appreciated for their philanthropy. As a donor, I don’t want a plaque, I just want to know that my resources are going to the cause of Catholic high school education in Rockford,” she said.
“The most important thing about this event is that we have all the Boylan ‘believers’ in one place,” Voss said. 
“There’s no program tonight, we’re not asking for money, this is simply an evening of appreciation and community,” she said.
Boylan alum, Tom Giovingo serves on the school’s board of consultors and has been a volunteer at the school for 40 years. 
“Being a part of the Bishop Lane Society not only provides needed funds for the school but also fosters a sense of community among the donors,” he said. 
“People really look forward to this dinner each year, especially (this year) because we had to cancel the event last year due to COVID-19. So, I think our donors are happy to attend and to continue the mission of the Society,” Giovingo said.
“I think having that structure of faith as the base of your education is not only conducive to life-long learning; but also teaches you respect for one another,” Giovingo added.
The menu for Boylan’s Tuscan-themed Farm to Table Dinner included charcuterie trays from DiTullios Italian Market and Café, marinated olives, heirloom tomato salad, Tuscan bread, lamb Bolognese, pasta fruitti di mare, chicken thighs, spinach and zucchini gratin and Italian pastries. 
Bishop David Malloy gave the invocation before dinner and music for the evening was provided by Michael Day, opera singer and Boylan Class of 2010 graduate. 
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