St. Joan Antida High School did record business for its recent spaghetti dinner. (Photo courtesy of St. Joan Antida High School)

More than 65 years ago, the Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida began the annual Spaghetti with the Sisters event as a way to bring the community together in support of the young women of St. Joan Antida High School (SJA). This year, SJA was committed to carrying on this time-honored tradition with an all-new “Bring the Tradition Home” event, which took place Sunday, Nov. 1. The event raised a record $182,000 to support the students of St. Joan Antida High School – more than tripling the results of past year’s spaghetti proceeds.

With the cancelation of the school’s spring Gala due to COVID-19, school staff worked with a volunteer-driven committee to combine two signature fundraisers into this all-new format. There were several new components to this year’s Spaghetti with the Sisters event: carryout-only service, SJA’s partnership with the Riverwest Food Pantry, a silent/live auction, and the launch of a new fund to honor the Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida.

This year, SJA provided a safe and convenient Spaghetti with the Sisters carryout-only service to ensure the safety of event staff, volunteers, and customers. Preorders were encouraged as day-of quantities were limited, and SJA achieved a new presale record with more than $30,000 in sales. By the end of the day, more than 500 guests either picked up presale carryout orders or purchased day-of orders with more than 6,000 meatballs and 350 quarts of spaghetti sauce being sold.

“We were so incredibly blessed with the outpouring of support the community has shown our school through their involvement in this event,” said Marikris Coryell, president of St. Joan Antida High School. “With so much change happening in our world this year, we were determined to maintain this important SJA tradition while finding new ways to honor and highlight the work of our Sisters. We are tremendously grateful to all those who purchased meals, bid on items, made donations, or volunteered their time to help – Spaghetti with the Sisters was definitely a success due to the support of so many wonderful people.”

St. Joan Antida High School partnered with the Riverwest Food Pantry this year to provide supporters the ability to order homemade spaghetti meals which were donated directly to families in need. The opportunity to support Milwaukee area families was received warmly by the public as 500 meals were donated as part of the new partnership.

“It gives me great hope that in the midst of a global pandemic, our two organizations were able to come together to honor old traditions and find exciting new ways to provide for so many families,” said Mark Bergemann, operations manager of the Riverwest Food Pantry. “This has been such a blessing to our community, and we are grateful to the Sisters of Charity and everyone at St. Joan Antida High School for their generous hearts.”

The morning of the event began with a virtual Celebration of Life service to honor and remember Sr. Monica Fumo, SCSJA and Sr. Gabriella Nguyen, SCSJA, who the St. Joan’s community lost to COVID-19 earlier this year.

That was followed with an evening program, Spaghetti Live!, which was an all-new virtual event featuring a silent and live auction as well as a special program showcasing St. Joan’s students, alumnae, and the Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida. The silent/live auction featured more than 90 unique packages, including handmade crafts by the Sisters. Close to $25,000 was raised from the auctions with more than 550 bids were placed.

As part of the Spaghetti Live! program, SJA announced the Sisters Legacy Fund, raising more than $100,000 during the live program to launch this new fund. The fund supports the school’s critical operating needs and honors the lives and legacies of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida High School, who continue to serve actively in the school they founded. For more information about the Sisters Legacy Fund, visit: