Portland, OR. St. Mary’s Academy raised $500,000 during its 27th annual Food for Thought fundraiser. Due to COVID-19, this is the first time the fundraiser has gone virtual in order to help support financial aid access for its students. More than 800 guests from across the globe joined the event to listen to a range of topics from motivation in the pursuit of one’s passions, to becoming a leader, to always staying true to yourself and the importance of giving back.
The featured guest of the event, Misty Copeland, Principal Dancer for American Ballet Theatre, shared her story and answered questions in a conversation with St. Mary’s senior, Kyra Bonta, current St. Mary’s dance instructor, Jessica Zoller, and St. Mary’s alumna, Jenny White.
Misty Copeland the featured guest of the event says, “Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful, and believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.”
This school year, St. Mary’s will provide over $2 million in financial aid to 42% of families. The fundraiser, Food for Thought, has allowed St. Mary’s to provide a college-preparatory education to any young woman who desires it, regardless of financial circumstances.
Maya DaSilva, a current junior at St. Mary’s, also spoke at the fundraiser about why she loves the school and why tuition assistance is important. “The SMA community believes there is inherent value in young women. That their thoughts, voices, and ideas are worthy. That they are necessary in the workplace and that each brings extraordinary skills and assets to various forms of leading, serving, creating, discovering.”
Maya DaSilva, current junior at St. Mary’s Academy spoke at the fundraiser in support of her school.
St. Mary’s Academy is Oregon state’s oldest continuously operating school and the only all-girls school that serves 680 young women. St. Mary’s has a 100% college acceptance rate where 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.
Donations from the fundraiser will provide St. Mary’s students with:
$15,995 will sponsor a student’s tuition for one year
$8,000 will fund the average financial aid award for one student
$5,300 will cover the gap between tuition and the actual cost of education
$2,000 will fund a quarter of the average financial aid award for one student
$1,056 provides a fully equipped iPad for two students receiving financial aid
$528 provides a fully equipped iPad for one student receiving financial aid
$283 provides one dollar for each student receiving financial aid
The event was co-chaired by the women of the St. Mary’s Board of Directors. Board member, Kimberly Cooper, shares why she supports St. Mary’s. “Education is the great elevator – anyone who enters, rises up to new heights – and access to a world-class education for young women at St. Mary’s Academy helps propel them higher. They are our future, and when they rise, we all rise!”
From St. Mary’s Academy website: 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.
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.
Sam Romanaggi, Kathleen Dooney Niedermeyer ’83, Dr. Don Romanaggi
Gene Kim and Margueritte Vu Kim ’94
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.
Mary Mathews Stevens ’80, Virginia Mathews, Marilyn Whitaker and Molly Mathews Bjorklund ’85
(Clockwise from back left) Kellie Chauncey-Lance ’87, Tifani Jones Parrilli ’82, Melissa Abraham Hartnell ’87, Holly Abraham Safranski ’92, Alyx Abraham, Sara Parker, Melinda Lee
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.
Portland, April 9th, 2016. The St. Mary’s Academy community showed its generosity by supporting the school in raising over $1 million, during the 28th Annual Auction, Singing in the Rain, at the Oregon Convention Center. (photo credit, Andie Petkus)
Vice-President for Development Emily Niedermeyer Becker ’86, Andrea Maynard Molloy ’96, Christen Abernethy, Sara Beeler Clark.
Sister Mollie Reavis, SNJM, Mike Clark and Brittney Clark ’94
“The generosity of the St. Mary’s Academy community is truly meaningful,” said Christina Friedhoff, the school’s president. “During the event, we talked about how central the concept of “We believe young women are powerful” is to St. Mary’s Academy. The fantastic success of our auction shows that our parents, alumnae and benefactors truly believe in the value of the outstanding all-girls Catholic college-preparatory education that St. Mary’s Academy offers our students.”
Choir Director and Music Teacher Kathy Briggs introduces the paddle raise surrounded by St. Mary’s students.
Marilyn, Mary ’16 and Lee Whitaker.
The auction is St. Mary’s annual signature fundraising event, however this year’s celebration was a unique experience. The Convention Center’s Portland Ballroom was transformed into a spring gala where guests could shop the silent auction, strike a pose in the rain inspired photo-booth, hear the defending Oregon 6A choir champions, the Marian Singers perform under the umbrella canopy, and enjoy our mistress of ceremonies Cathy Marshall of KGW TV taking them through an entertaining tour of over 40 live auction packages. An impressive $333,000 was raised during the Bids for Kids paddle raise, which directly supports St. Mary’s tuition assistance program that benefits over 40% of students at St. Mary’s. In total, the auction raised a remarkable $1,001,591!
The evening was co-chaired by St. Mary’s Academy parents Susan Bishop, Carol Halsey and Monica Kavalieros who brought together alumnae, parents, teachers and community members in celebration of our school. “I was thrilled and humbled by the support of our donors that night” said Emily Niedermeyer Becker ’86, vice-president for development at St. Mary’s Academy. “Alumnae, parents and community members alike cast over one million votes of confidence in our school.”
St. Mary’s Academy Mission Statement:
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.
Portland, April 12th, 2014. St. Mary’s Academy’s 26th annual auction, Roman Holiday, raised more than $900,000, the largest amount in the event’s history and $100,000 over last year. The Fink Family enjoyed the event including: David Wilson, Patrick Soong, Molly Fink Soong ’99, Jeani Fink ’97, Marilyn and Tom Fink, Amy Fink Wilson ’95.
St. Mary’s Academy auction chairs Marypat and Steve Hedberg, Carolyn DeLanyReif and Chuck Reif, Annie and Rollie White, Eden Jamison
Brittney Clark ’94 and Tracey Clark
More than 700 guests joined St. Mary’s Academy at the Oregon Convention Center for the annual auction, the largest fundraising event for Oregon’s premier Catholic college-preparatory high school for young women. Proceeds from the auction are critical to the financial strength of St. Mary’s Academy and benefit each of the school’s 660 students.
St. Mary’s Academy students shared their dreams and ambitions at the 2014 Roman Holiday auction.
“We are grateful to all who attended and helped create the April 12 auction, which celebrates our school community. Participation in this event helps reaffirm the belief that St. Mary’s Academy transforms students’ lives by combining the best features of a Catholic high school with the opportunities offered by an all-girls environment. Event success such as this sets the stage for an exciting future,” said St. Mary’s Academy President Christina Friedhoff.
St. Mary’s Academy, a Catholic high school for young women, provides a challenging college-preparatory education in a vibrant learning environment. St. Mary’s, 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.
Portland, April 13th, 2013. St. Mary’s Academy’s 25th annual auction, Silver Revelry, raised more than $800,000, the largest amount in the event’s history. More than 600 guests joined the festivities at the Oregon Convention Center. Parent volunteers Allison and Chris Martin and Dana and Michael White chaired the event and inspired others with their generosity.
This year’s auction had special meaning for the Martins and the Whites, since both of their daughters are seniors.
Silver Revelry guests including St. Mary’s Academy Board Chairman Bob Harold; his wife, Sue Harold; their daughter, Joan Chaney; and her husband, Brian Chaney, enjoyed exciting silent and live auctions that included packages ranging from a behind-the-scenes look at the Portland-based NBC show “Grimm” to a trip for two to London to experience the best of the West End Theatre District.
The auction is the largest fundraising event for Oregon’s premier Catholic college-preparatory high school for young women. Proceeds are critical to the financial strength of St. Mary’s Academy and benefit each of the school’s 640 students. “We are all incredibly proud of and grateful for the unprecedented success of our April 13 auction. Financial success like this provides the resources for more opportunities for students,” said St. Mary’s Academy President Christina Friedhoff. “We’ve seen young women from all backgrounds become confident, compassionate leaders through their experiences at St. Mary’s.”
Silver Revelry guests included Catherine and Mark Myers. The couple are generous supporters of St. Mary’s Academy, and they have three daughters who are past and current students at the school. Catherine is a member of St. Mary’s Academy’s board of directors.
Mike and Tracey Clark, parents of a St. Mary’s Academy alumna, are longtime supporters of St. Mary’s Academy and its annual auction. The giving spirit of guests such as the Clarks helped make Silver Revelry a record-breaking success.
Debora Knapp, KATU news anchor, served as the evening’s mistress of ceremonies. She kept the crowd entertained and raising their paddles high. Among the evening’s highlights was Bids for Kids, an opportunity for event goers to donate to the school’s tuition assistance program. Linda Patrick, SNJM, a 1967 St. Mary’s Academy graduate who now serves as Assistant Principal of Student Life, led the appeal. Bids for Kids raised more than $256,000 in support of the 42 percent of St. Mary’s students who receive financial aid. This is another record-breaking figure in a record-breaking year for the St. Mary’s Academy annual auction. Bids for Kids’ success was made possible in part due to $60,000 in matching funds from several generous sponsors: the B.P., Lester and Regina John Foundation; Mary and Tim Boyle; Dan and Gina Jones; and Ron and Tammy Witcosky.
# # # About St. Mary’s Academy
St. Mary’s Academy is a Catholic high school for young women located in the heart of downtown Portland that provides a challenging college-preparatory education with a focus on developing the whole person. Founded in 1859 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, St. Mary’s Academy is Oregon’s oldest continuously operating secondary school and offers a supportive learning environment to a diverse student body from more than 35 cities in urban, suburban and rural Oregon and Southwest Washington. It is the only school in the state to have received three Blue Ribbon awards from the U.S. Department of Education. For more information about St. Mary’s Academy, please visit www.stmaryspdx.org.
NONPROFIT BENEFIT TICKET GIVEAWAYS!
Sign up for our free weekly highlights for the chance to win two tickets terrific nonprofit events! If you "like" us on facebook, or sign up for our weekly news highlights, you'll be entered to win! Sign up today!
Look for another ticket giveaway soon! Are you a nonprofit looking to bolster your publicity with facebook and tweets? Email us and we'll run a contest with tickets to your event! [email protected]