On Saturday, April 29, 2023, the Good Counsel community will come together to raise endowed funds for need and merit-based financial aid. This year's Derby-themed gala celebrates the legacy and leadership of Dr. Paul Barker.
As Good Counsel’s marquee fundraising event, the Grand Celebration features an online auction, live appeal, dinner, dancing, and the culmination of the incredible generosity from donors like you!
The Grand Celebration Planning Committee would love your help with our online and live auction!
We have an Auction Basket Wish List Sign Up for anyone who is interested in donating a themed-basket.
We are also looking for other items like vacation rentals, hotel bookings, restaurant experiences, boat tours, or any other unique experiences. To donate to the auction, please complete this Auction Item Donation Form.
Help ensure the 35th Grand Celebration is a tremendous success by sponsoring the event! Benefits include significant marketing/advertising benefits, tickets to the gala, and more!
To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Savannah Renehan, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your consideration!
Each year at the Grand Celebration, Good Counsel highlights a special project that needs the support of our school community. This year, we come together to honor and celebrate the legacy and leadership of Dr. Paul Barker by establishing the Barker Endowment for Student Talent (BEST) - a new merit scholarship initiative.
Dr. Paul Barker
Kind eyes, thoughtful words and plenty of great ideas. These striking qualities of Dr. Paul Barker and the dedication with which he improves anything he encounters have benefitted Our Lady of Good Counsel High School for 12 years. When he retires this spring, Dr. Barker will leave behind much more than a vacant position at the head of the school. He has made an indelible impression that will last throughout the school’s future.
Barker has grown Good Counsel’s endowment, spearheaded the fundraising for and construction of the magnificent Performing Arts Center in 2016, helped diversify the student body, and built up the Global Program, band, and STEM programs to meet the demands of the 21st Century. “Dr. Barker’s open and inclusive approach, his eloquent speaking, his insistence of productive communication regardless of how difficult the challenge and his commitment to students’ well-being have enabled him to enrich and improve the school during his tenure and well into the future,” says Rita O’Donnell, past chair of the Good Counsel Board of Directors.
In Barker’s mind, GC is clearly a school of distinction. “I hope its reputation continues to grow,” he says. “I think the school merits being a school of choice. Historically, Good Counsel has shown it is willing to take risks to try to be better.” It was one of the first high schools in the area to adopt a block schedule, he points out, and it has the oldest International Baccalaureate program of any Catholic school in the DC-Metro Area. “Twenty years from now, who knows where it will be? But the school has finished its strategic plan, thinking about things like technology and micro-schools, and I think the sky's the limit,” Barker says. He also hopes the school will continue to focus on the Xaverian tradition. “The Brothers’ sense of community and the five values are truly important.” Barker is confident that Good Counsel’s successes will continue to grow.
The BEST Scholars Program
The BEST Scholars program is a new initiative to honor the retirement of Dr. Paul Barker. In his honor, Good Counsel has created the Dr. Paul Barker Endowment for Student Talent, known as The BEST Scholars Program.
The Barker Endowment for Student Excellence will expand access to incoming first-year students interested in attending Good Counsel. Barker Scholars will have demonstrated academic promise and a commitment to community service. The endowment will supplement Good Counsel’s need and merit based scholarship resources, impacting our capacity to recruit new students and increasing our ability to meet the financial need of students who display academic excellence.
Please note the 35th Grand Celebration offers a virtual registration option which includes access to the Online Auction, Live Auction, Raffles, and more. If you are unable to join us in-person, please considering joining us virtually.
- Xaverian Celebration Sponsor
- Theodore Ryken Celebration Sponsors
- Funds for Our Falcons Sponsors
- Legacy Celebration Sponsors
- Winners' Circle VIP Lounge Sponsor
- Diamond Celebration Sponsors
- Platinum Celebration Sponsors
- Community Partners
- Table Sponsors
- Blue and Gold Celebration Sponsors
- Grand Celebration Planning Committee