Portland, OR. St. Mary’s Academy hosted its annual gala on April 9th and raised over $1,000,000. Guests gathered in-person once again to support the young women of St. Mary’s Academy at the school’s 34th annual auction: The Future is Bright. Guests included Lee and Marilyn Whitaker, Virginia Mathews, and Judie Simpson. (Photo credit, Greg Kozawa)

Bob Harold, Patricia and John Cheney

2022 St. Mary’s Auction Co-Chairs: Wendy Chan, Kim Patterson, Jennifer Wallenberg, Heidi Bell

Karis Stoudamire-Phillips ’94 and friend

Caitlin Whitty ‘08, Ashley Whitty ’02, Mya Brazile ‘19

Kristen Russo ’95 and friends

Jessica Hickox Meyer ’94 and Greg Meyer

Karen and Terry Newsom, Jill Newsom

Sarah Bracelin, Emily Niedermeyer Becker ’86, Stephanie Simpson-Narin

Sr. Maureen Delaney SNJM, Sr. Mollie Reavis SNJM, Christina Friedhoff, Steve Percy, Tom Fink

The event featured entertainment, testimonials, and bidding on auction packages, including a Zac Brown Band VIP experience, a week stay in Paris, a South African safari adventure and a private dinner for 20 at Portland-favorite Papa Haydn. For the first time in event history, St. Mary’s hosted an after-party with music and dancing.Emily Niedermeyer Becker ’86, Vice President for Development, captured the feeling in the room, “It was a magical night filled with incredible generosity, support, excitement and fun. Our community loved being back together to celebrate our rich 162 years of all-girls, Catholic education in downtown Portland and committed over $1m in support to St. Mary’s Academy. The future certainly is bright for our students, faculty, staff and community.”This year’s five auction co-chairs were all St. Mary’s Academy moms, including Heidi Bell, mom to Caroline ’25; Wendy Chan, mom to Mia ’25; Mechell Hansen, mom to Grace ’22 and Amelia ’25; Kim Patterson, mom to Jenna ’24 and Alex ’26; and Jennifer Wallenberg, mom to Madeline ‘25. Chan shares the impact of St. Mary’s on young women, “Having a St. Mary’s education in today’s world is so important for developing students into powerful, compassionate and contributing members of a community. St. Mary’s helps young women discover their passions, know themselves and use their voices to effectuate change for the better.”During the live event, current faculty members, alumnae and sisters, Ashley Whitty ’02 and Caitlin Whitty ‘08, credited St. Mary’s for molding them into the women leaders and educators they are today. As mothers of girls, Ashley, a St. Mary’s English teacher, and Caitlin, Director of Service, know firsthand the challenges facing young women in today’s world. They dedicate their careers to St. Mary’s because they know they would not be the independent, confident and heart-forward women they are without their SMA education. For the Whitty sisters, working at St. Mary’s gives them a chance to give back to their school and make a meaningful investment in young women.This year’s event also included a champagne toast and tribute to President Christina Friedhoff who will be retiring at the end of this school year after 30 years of service. In announcing her retirement, Friedhoff shared, “Throughout my entire career at St. Mary’s Academy, my efforts were sustained and inspired by my deep belief in the potential of young women. That belief motivated me to want to do my best each and every day to distinguish the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary’s mission of all-female Catholic education. Partnering with talented faculty and staff, administrators, the Board of Directors, alumnae and families, I was part of achievements that further the unique mission of St. Mary’s Academy in downtown Portland.”The live event was preceded by a week-long silent auction with over 200 packages available for bidding. Additionally, St. Mary’s again held its much-anticipated raffles for a 2021 Land Rover Discovery Sport, a $5,000 travel gift certificate, and a pair of 3ctw+ Malka diamond hoop earrings. Participants could also purchase tickets for a “Golden Ticket,” allowing the winner to select their choice of any of the live auction packages.From St. Mary’s Academy:Located in the heart of downtown Portland, OR, St. Mary’s Academy is the state’s oldest continuously operating school and only all-girls school. Founded in 1859 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, St. Mary’s Academy serves 660 young women in grades 9-12. The school’s college acceptance rate is 100% and SMA students achieve, excel and are recognized locally, regionally and nationally in academic fields, leadership, STEM, the arts, athletics, community service and extra- and co-curricular activities. www.smapdx.org