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Exceeding Expectations: Inside the unforgettable 75th Anniversary Gala

The 2024 ISP Gala, held on 11 May, was a spectacular celebration of ISP and the remarkable generosity of our community. This milestone 75th Anniversary Gala, themed “0075 Casino Royale,” was orchestrated by dedicated parent volunteers in our Gala Organising Committee in collaboration with our Advancement Office.

It was an elegant affair filled with exceptional speakers, incredible performances, and a lively atmosphere that would have wowed even James Bond! However, beyond the glitz and glamour, the Gala was an opportunity for our community to reflect on 75 years of excellence in education and demonstrate our dedication to inclusivity, particularly through the expansion of our Scholarship Programme.

As the evening started, Dr. Chip Kimball, ISP’s Director, reflected on ISP’s rich history in the Czech Republic and shared a touching video chronicling 75 years of learning.

At the heart of the event, Marina and Lucie, two graduating scholars, took centre stage to share the transformative impact of our Scholarship Programme. Their heartfelt stories and experiences at ISP revealed how the programme has profoundly shaped their lives, now and into the future. They expressed deep gratitude for the invaluable ISP education they have received and shared their sincere desire to give back in the future, ensuring that others can also access this life-changing opportunity.

“I am standing here in front of so many people who impacted our lives more than I could express, and I’m so grateful that we can pass this gift of gold to many more who are in our positions.”

Marina, Grade 12 Scholar

“I have been blessed with your direct kindness, and after this experience, I cannot help but follow in your footsteps. To be able to help students like me receive the best education there is is so powerful. I have had a great life, with a loving family and good education, and that should be the standard for all.”

Lucie, Grade 12 Scholar

Also sharing her heartfelt thoughts was Anna Lukyanova, Chair of the Gala Organising Committee.

“I was personally touched by a speech a couple of years ago by one of the scholars, whose life totally transformed by attending ISP and her being accepted to one of the best universities in Europe to study biotechnology…We may think that being here tonight is a small gesture, with a small impact. But, in fact, our presence and generosity is having an enormous impact on ISP and on our community.”

From an incredible array of Silent Auction items to the engaging Scholarship Auction and exciting Live Auction led by Upper School teacher and auctioneer extraordinaire Jeff Penn, our community truly united in support of this great cause.

Thanks to the collective efforts and incredible generosity within the ISP community, 7 million CZK in donations will be invested in the ISP Scholarship Programme. We extend our deepest gratitude to our corporate sponsors, individual donors, and all community members who participated in the Gala and Auctions in a variety of ways. 

“Together, we’re not just investing in education; we’re cultivating the leaders and innovators of tomorrow. Empowering dreams is about unlocking potential and shaping futures for those who dare to dream.”

UPS CZ

Beyond the auctions, every performer and speaker played a vital role in the event’s success. The evening kicked off with live entertainment from the Jeremy Chapman Quartet setting the atmosphere, followed by an opening performance by the highly acclaimed Czech musician, Bara Basikova. Dr Cal Callaway, ISP Deputy Director, served as the charismatic MC, orchestrating the programme with flair. Among the entertainers was Martin, a Grade 10 student, and the TAP Academy group, alongside ISP Parent Jim Cusumano,  with his trademark performance. The James Bond theme came to life in the play-for-fun Casino (donated by Tsoukernik Family) , where guests savoured themed cocktails (donated by Manifesto) while enjoying an array of games.

It’s the attention to detail that truly elevates an event, and we are immensely grateful for the extra special touches that made the Gala truly extraordinary. From the popular 75th Anniversary photo booth to the exquisite flowers and decorations (donated by Anna Lukyanov and Alex Belenchi) to the eye-catching layer cake (donated by Vypecena matka), every aspect contributed to the magic of the evening. We are truly grateful for the extraordinary efforts and time invested by those who made this night possible, and to all of our Gala Sponsors and Auction Donors, listed in full on our Gala Website.

A heartfelt thank you to Martina Reckziegelova, whose overarching vision and meticulous organisation brought the event to life, to Monica Stanciu, Director of Advancement, as well as our dedicated Gala Organising Committee.