Spirits soared Saturday night as the Valley Catholic community rose to the occasion at the annual Gala, “Fly Me to the Moon.”
More than 400 guests poured into the Hilton Portland for the benefit dinner and auction on April 27. The Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Foundation hosted the event with support from 120 volunteers, including Chairpersons Eric Jaroch and Carrie Howard, who worked on the Gala for months. Additional generous support came from event sponsors, underwriters, in-kind sponsors and donors.
The evening included a silent auction that offered about 175 packages as well as the Wall of Wine, a sign-up party board and class portraits. The “Mini-Live” auction included the students’ grade projects just before the live auction, and Valley Catholic junior Phi Lam provided live piano music.
Emcee Pat Dooris drew the Golden Ticket. The winners were Babak and Pardis Tabrizian, who chose a stay on Maui as their prize.
The special appeal for financial aid, “Light a Fire,” took the spotlight. Valley Catholic sophomore Brian Oakes, a VCS student since kindergarten, introduced a video of his family members talking about the circumstances under which his family, usually on the giving side, found themselves in a position to ask for help. The video, and Brian’s remarks afterward, drew a standing ovation from the crowd as his parents, Rudy and Judy Oakes, joined their son onstage for an emotional embrace. Preliminary reports indicate that the amount raised for financial aid that night nearly doubled those of previous “Light a Fire” benefits.
Auctioneer Kelly Russell continued the lively bidding throughout the evening, which culminated with the drawing for the trip to New York. Damon and Alyson Grant, Valley Catholic kindergarten parents, were the lucky winners. They will enjoy a trip for two to New York that includes airfare, lodging, a Broadway show, a sightseeing tour, dinner at Sardi’s and a $750 VISA gift card.
Many thanks to the extended Valley Catholic community for generating great energy, goodwill and positive results for the benefit of our students!
Learn about the importance of our Gala – and your role in supporting it – on our Valley Catholic YouTube Channel.