Portland, OR. Nearly 700 people attended the St. Mary’s Academy 26th Annual “Food for Thought” luncheon. Organizers surpassed their fundraising goal of $500,000 which will support tuition assistance. The event on November 7th was held at the downtown Portland Hilton and attendees included Kelley Morrison Ogle ’94, Margueritte Vu Kim ’94, Rita Serralta-Poox ’20, Barre3 co-founder Sadie Lincoln, Jessica Hickox Meyer ’94 and Karis Stoudamire-Phillips ’94. Vice President of Development, 1986 graduate Emily Niedermeyer Becker, thanked donors. “We are so proud to announce we exceeded our goal of $500,000. This event has remained of the utmost importance to SMA each year, as every dollar raised allows us to continue providing exceptional education to young girls who deserve it.” The Food for Thought luncheon is the school’s largest fundraiser in support of tuition assistance. For the 2019-2020 school year, 42% of St. Mary’s Academy families were awarded over $2 million in tuition assistance.
The luncheon was organized by graduates of SMA’s 1994 class, including Karis-Stoudamire Phillips, Joan Chaney, Margueritte Vu Kim, Jessica Hickox Meyer, Kelley Morrison Ogle, and Dr. Nundhini Thukkani. Sadie Lincoln, the keynote speaker and co-founder of Barre3, shared her message about wellness and finding confidence. She weighed in on her own personal struggles with self-confidence at a young age. Lincoln credits Barre3 with allowing herself to spread the message of internal resiliency to members across her studios, located locally and worldwide. “We can have a practice of being empowered from within, being confident, and standing up for ourselves,” she explained.
Another guest speaker was St. Mary’s senior and financial award recipient, Rita Serralta-Poox. She thanked her parents for their sacrifices immigrating to the U.S. in hopes of a brighter future for their family. She also thanked St. Mary’s for an array of opportunities during her four years, and allowing her to become her true self through its community, “St. Mary’s has taught me how to use my voice and I will never forget that. After high school, I plan to study law to become an immigration lawyer,” she stated during her speech.
For the second year in a row, St. Mary’s Academy produced and debuted a video at the event. It focused on St. Mary’s wellness programs including athletics. In the video, current students and alumnae shared personal experiences and stories of how St. Mary’s empowered them both on and off the field.
A video about St. Mary’s Academy:
From St. Mary’s Academy:
St. Mary’s Academy, sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary since 1859, is a Catholic high school for young women, providing a challenging college-preparatory education in a vibrant learning environment. Guided by the values and charism of the Sisters, St. Mary’s fosters a diverse community, educates the whole person by nurturing spirituality, encouraging creativity, promoting justice, and inspiring a sense of global interdependence to prepare students for service and leadership. For more information, here’s a link to the SMA website: St. Mary’s Academy.