Portland, February, 15th, 2014. A diverse group of local business owners, parents, parishioners, teachers, staff, and community members gathered to support Holy Redeemer Catholic School at its annual benefit. Organizers expect to gross $200,000 from the event. Holy Redeemer School’s current enrollment is 313 students in preschool, prekindergarten and kindergarten through eighth grade. Administrators explain that the school is, “The most ethnically diverse Catholic school in Oregon. 72% of our students are Catholic. We welcome students from other Faiths. 96% of our students graduate from high school, compared to 76% neighborhood rate. 32% come from homes at or below the federal poverty levels and qualify for free or reduced lunch.”
The Holy Redeemer Dinner and Auction theme was “A Night in Paris.” Guests arrived at The Holiday Inn at the Portland Airport to find a photo booth, the Heads or Tails game during the live auction, the French-themed dinner Live auction. The biggest moment of the night, and most anticipated each year by guests, is the Bids4Kids Paddle Raiser. Guests hear from parent and student speakers about Holy Redeemer students’ overwhelming need for scholarship assistance and then enjoy a video showcasing the students of the school. Guests this year also learned that an anonymous donor had challenged the audience to match a $25,000 donation. The audience rose to the occasion, making the Bids4Kids total just over $50,000.
Serapiya’s family of 9 was brought to the United States 7 years ago by the Holy Redeemer community. They had been living in a refugee camp in Africa for the entirety of Serapiya’s life. When she came to Portland, she and her family did not know any English. With dedicated support of Holy Redeemer community members, Serapiya’s family adapted and flourished. Serapiya is now the first of her family to graduate 8th grade, which would never have been possible without the scholarship assistance she received from Holy Redeemer. She now is going on to high school, a promising young woman who studies hard, volunteers, and helps her younger siblings each night with homework. She has big dreams and is willing to work hard. As she told the audience, “I want to thank my parents, my teachers, and Holy Redeemer for showing me that not only is it important to dream big, as high as the stars, but that it is the work, the reach for the stars, that makes life full for you and all those around you.”
To learn more about Holy Redeemer, visit its website: www.holyredeemerpdx.org.