Epiphany Gala’s 25th Anniversary Will Be ‘A Night of Wonder’

Donna and Mike Pachota are Shining Star Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees

You won’t want to miss the 25th anniversary of Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School’s annual major fundraiser, the Epiphany Gala, on Saturday, April 14, 2023, at Plantation Golf & Country Club. Exciting things are planned for the evening, which is themed “A Night of Wonder," including a live and silent auction, dinner and for the first time in two years, live music by The Phase 5 Band (dancing is encouraged).

The focus of the evening is to raise money for Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School and to honor Epiphany’s Shining Star Lifetime Achievement recipients. Now celebrating its 10th year, Shining Star recognizes those who have built an enduring legacy at Epiphany Parish and School.

This year's award recipients, Donna and Mike Pachota, are an intrinsic part of Venice's history and development. Donna, MSN, has long served our local community as a Family Medicine Specialist. Thirty-plus years ago Donna and Mike co-founded Sharky’s on the Pier. The now-iconic restaurant began as little more than a beach shack in 1987. Today it's part of the Venice Pier Group – a diverse family business whose president is former Epiphany student, and Donna and Mike's son, Justin Pachota.

“The Pachotas have been parishioners at Epiphany for 35 years, ever since they moved to this area. Their two sons, Justin and Nick (currently Mayor of Venice), both attended Epiphany,” says Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School’s Director of Development Leah Mihm.

Leah explains that Donna and Mike were very involved as Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School parents. Donna was a long-time member of the school board and Sharky’s on the Pier sponsored and provided food for the famous Knights of Columbus Fish Fry Fridays during Lent. “(The Pachotas) are such genuinely good people and have always supported the school, and not just financially,” says Leah, “They’ve also been pillars and advocates of Catholic education.”

Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School’s enrollment period is open, and Leah invites parents to call and schedule a tour. The school offers a faith-based comprehensive curriculum that boasts instruction in language arts (reading comprehension, grammar, writing, and vocabulary), math, science, social studies, health, visual and fine arts, music appreciation and instrumental performance, foreign language (Spanish), technology and media, and physical education. Contact Admissions Director: Andrea Mitchell at

316 Sarasota St., Venice. 941.488.2215

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