Portland, OR. For the first time, Oregon Episcopal School (OES) went virtual for its annual auction instead of the traditional in-person event. In the end, through the silent online auction, the live stream, and the paddle raise, the 2020 OES Auction raised over $600,000. Pictured above are Randy Moe, Sara Berglund, Erin Drinkward, Kathleeen Drinkward and (back row) Tammy Moe, Dave Drinkward ‘97, Nancy Martin, and Shreve Woods.

“We are learning so much!” said OES Head of School Mo Copeland, who was part of the live audience for the March 14th virtual event in the school’s state-of-the-art design center. “The ‘150 Virtual Auction’ went off without a glitch.” Oregon Episcopal School parents gathered in small groups at The Sentinel Hotel to watch the school’s live virtual auction via cell phone and computer.

Virtual auction speakers OES Board Chair Dan Drinkward ’95, Chief Financial Officer Gretchen Reed, Head of School Mo Copeland, and Associate Head of School Peter Kraft, share a quiet moment before going live. Auction Consultant Lauren Dully Clark is at right.

Auction Committee Chair Jaime Sales (left), Emcee Peter Buonincontro (center, a theater and performing arts teacher and assistant director of residential life), and Auctioneer Johnna Wells, share a laugh between package offerings.

Board Chair Dan Drinkward ’95, spoke of the school’s resiliency in tough times. “The virus threw us for a bit of a loop, but our committee this year not only planned an unbelievable event but then pivoted a 180 two days ago and came up with what we have tonight which is just blowing the doors off all expectations.”

OES’s state-of-the-art design center was the technical hub for the 34th annual auction.

With a mandate from Governor Kate Brown to limit gatherings of 250 due to coronavirus, OES’s auction planning committee had less than 48 hours to decide whether to cancel the much-anticipated auction entirely or move forward in a new way. In true OES fashion, the committee was open to trying a virtual event, and called in The AV Department to transform a space in the school’s design center into a full-scale broadcast studio.

“The design space became a perfect stage and the development team did an amazing job of using our auction decor to set the feel,” Auction Chair Jaime Sales said. “It was an emotional thing to see when I walked into the finished space.”

Pete Buonincontro, OES theater and performing arts teacher and assistant director of residential life, was a hilarious and uplifting emcee, and Johnna Wells tag teamed as auctioneer. Local artist Scot Crandal played jazz standards on the piano in the background.

Small watch parties were scattered throughout the city, in homes and elsewhere. Some attendees even dressed in the requisite “black-tie” while watching the creative live stream from hotel rooms.

“The overwhelming response was that people loved being in the comfort of their own homes or with small groups of friends to watch and bid,” Sales said. “I received a lot of photos of people with their formal gowns and tuxes . . . and their slippers! It was also fun to see that families, including the kids, could get excited and be a part of it.”

“We’re letting the dust settle in terms of total dollars raised, but whatever the final number, the OES community showed up in a big way,” said Madeline Pruett, director of development.

More information on OES can be found on its website: https://www.oes.edu/