Laughter, connections, support and tears of joy filled the air inside the Oregon Convention Center’s Portland ballroom for St. Mary’s Academy’s 31st Annual Auction.
Towards the end of the evening, St. Mary’s Academy President, Christina Friedhoff, proudly announced the silent and live auction event met the goal of one million dollars. “There is no doubt that each girl who walks through the doors of St. Mary’s Academy is capable of contributing something unique and powerful to positively impact our world, and the continued support helps ensure each of these young leaders has the education and tools they need to thrive throughout this journey,” said Emily Niedermeyer Becker ’86, Vice President for Development at St. Mary’s Academy.
This year’s auction was titled “In Full Bloom”, and with the assistance of five-foot silk flowers and spring-colored LED lit trees flaunting the stage, guests could soak in the feeling of spring’s arrival and the theme surrounding this year’s event.
The auction, again emceed by KGW News Anchor, Cathy Marshall, featured bid items to pique all interests including a golf trip to Ireland, local getaways across Oregon, hosted private dinner parties and concerts featuring big names such as the Backstreet Boys and Ariana Grande, to name a few.
While the night consisted of paddle raising for a cause, highlights included the video premiere of “Our Moment to Shine”, a montage featuring St. Mary’s Academy alumnae who have succeeded as leaders in their field and built a name for themselves within their industry.
“From day one, you’re given the opportunity to speak up and be challenging and be challenged.,” Karis Stoudamire-Phillips ’94, SMA Board Member and Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Moda Health in Portland, Oregon states in the video. She goes on to recognize the unique experience the all-girl Catholic high school provides, “They understand the role you can have as a woman, the decisions you can make and the positions you can hold. SMA’s supportive environment really propelled me in my life”, Karis adds.
The video was followed by Bids for Kids speaker, Teri Bowles-Atherton ’93, President for the Rose Festival’s board of directors. Her speech was followed by the highly anticipated Bids for Kids paddle raise. Bids for Kids is an opportunity for auction guests to contribute to the school’s tuition assistance program.
“It was the empowerment and the ability to go in front of people, speak and share ideas and concepts, and just that confidence that St. Mary’s Academy instilled, that’s carried with me throughout life then and now while serving on the Rose Festival’s board as President,” said Teri.
The auction is St. Mary’s largest annual fundraising event with proceeds benefiting every student in meaningful ways.