1. Why does St. Mary School have an auction?
The auction is our primary fundraising initiative for the year, and it is essential to the success of St. Mary School. Proceeds raised from the event – which, in the past, have exceeded $100,000 — go directly into St. Mary’s operating budget. These funds help maintain our rich curriculum, extensive student services, and exceptional staff. The auction is also a fun way to spend an evening socializing with other members of the SMS community!
2. When and where is the auction?
Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 5:00-10:00 pm in Giovanni Hall.
3. How much is admission, and what is included?
A ticket is $50 per person until February 2nd and may be purchased on the Havana Nights Dinner & Auction website. After February, 2nd, tickets will be $60 per person. Tickets include Cuban-inspired hors d’oeuvres, dinner, dessert, access to the silent and live auctions and games, and dancing! Each guest that arrives before 5:30 pm will receive a complimentary signature cocktail. Drink tickets may be purchased at the auction for beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks. Drink Wristbands may be purchased online before the event.
Purchasing a ticket also gives you exclusive access to Sign-up Parties and Teacher Features the week before the event-be the first to sign up for these coveted spots!
4. What should I wear?
This year’s theme is Havana Nights, so we invite you to wear your best Cuban-inspired outfit! Your attire, dressy or casual, is up to you. We want all of our guests to be comfortable. Need ideas of what to wear? Check out our Pinterest board: https://pin.it/pyeljg2ke4dwvp
5. How do I tell you who I want to sit with at the auction?
On the ticket purchase page, you are invited to fill out the “Who would you like to sit with?” box. Due to the venue, we are able to accommodate a maximum of 10 guests per table. If there are any questions when we are working on table assignments, we will contact you for clarification.
6. Sponsor a Teacher? Aren't their tickets complimentary?
Yes, faculty and staff attend the auction at no charge; however, we pay for their tickets out of the auction budget. By sponsoring a teacher, you help offset those expenses so that more of the auction proceeds can directly benefit the school.
7. How does the auction work?
The auction consists of a Silent Auction, a Live Auction, and a live Fund-A-Need round of bidding for Tuition Assistance. The Silent Auction is conducted via Greater Giving mobile bidding. Those who have purchased tickets will receive a text with instructions on how to bid using a mobile device the week before the event. You can also view a video about mobile bidding on our auction website.
The Live Auction is conducted by a professional auctioneer. This is where the night gets fun, and sometimes a little crazy — in a good way! Items generally included in the Live Auction are a combination of unique opportunities, school experiences, getaways and anything else that’s spectacular. Make sure to like our Facebook event page (https://www.facebook.com/events/176085656674187/) to keep up to date on the packages that will be available!
Once all bidding is concluded, you will know which items you have won by viewing your receipt via Greater Giving on your mobile device – please collect them before you leave!
8. What kinds of items are up for bid?
There will be a range of items to bid on including services, getaways, physical goods, school-associated items and experiences. We also have Teacher Features and Sign-up Parties. Our Silent Auction catalog has items in all price points, from $20 on up. There’s something for every budget — you don’t have to break the bank to have a good time and help the school!
9. Is there a catalog of items up for bid?
Yes – you will be able to view the catalog of auction items closer to the day of the event on the website. In the meantime, check out our Facebook page or stop by the main office to see sneak previews of items that will be up for bid.
A selection of Silent Auction items will be set up on table displays at the event as well, allowing you the opportunity to see them up close and in person when you arrive.
10. What is the Fund-A-Need?
Each year, our school raises funds for Tuition Assistance for families in need. Last year’s donations were used to help over 40 families! The Fund-A-Need is an integral component of the live auction, with donors raising their paddles in support of this initiative. Donors will receive 100% fundraising credit.
11. What is a Golden Ticket?
The Golden Ticket raffle gives you the opportunity to purchase a ticket for $100 to win tuition for the 2019-2020 school year. Only 200 will be sold. Tickets may be purchased online on the auction website or at the auction.
12. Tell me about these “Teacher Features” and “Sign-up Parties” I keep hearing about!
Teacher Features: Our amazing faculty and administrative staff offer up fantastic outings and experiences to share with one or more SMS students. These are some of the most popular items offered each year. Some are organized by a group of faculty/staff for a larger group of students and will be offered as a Sign-up Party, others will be a special experience for just one student that can be bid on the same as other items in the Silent Auction.
Sign-up Parties: Our awesome parents and supporters organize and host these themed parties. They are a great way to socialize and meet other SMS parents and families, all while supporting the school. During the Silent Auction portion of the event, you will be able to view the details of and purchase a spot at the party. Don’t hesitate-these are highly coveted and go quickly!
13. What is new this year?
New this year will be a Cake Dash during the Live Auction and a Secret Key game whose lucky winner will take home $250 cash!
14. What are Grab ‘n Go gift cards?
Get ready to Grab ‘n Go with our Gift Card display! No bidding on these items; just be the first to grab the card you want, take it to a Bid Assistant so they can add it to your receipt, and it’s yours. Make sure you arrive early so you can get the cards you want before they are all gone!
15. What games will be available to play?
We had so much fun with the games last year, we are bringing them back again! There will be two game experiences during the Silent Auction portion of the night, Wine Pull and Liquor Ring Toss. Everyone is a winner-simply pay the purchase price to play the game ($25), test your luck or skill, and take home a bottle of wine or liquor!
14. How and when do I pay for the goods & services I purchase?
When both the silent and live auctions are closed, the Greater Giving site will show you a list of items purchased and your total for the evening on your mobile device. These purchases will then be charged to the credit card you provided at check-in. All items from both the Silent and Live Auctions will be available for pick-up at the end of the evening – please don’t leave without them!
15. Do I have to buy something at the auction?
No! We hope you do, but your ticket price fully covers the cost of the evening.
16. How does St. Mary acquire items for the auction?
A team of parent volunteers solicits local and national businesses for donations. Of course, there are always things we would love to be able to offer that we are unable to source through our corporate donors, and so we ask SMS families to consider donating items as well. A cash donation is always welcome, too, as it allows us to purchase the missing pieces for some of our packages. To donate an item, please fill out the online donation form on the auction website. To make a cash donation, please visit the auction website or send in cash/check to the school office.
17. How much of what I donate counts for my fundraising credit?
You will receive 100% fundraising credit for your cash donation, sponsorship, Golden Ticket, or Tuition Assistance bid. You will receive fundraising credit for 50% of what a physical item/experience sells for at the auction.
18. Can I bring my friends if they do not have children attending St. Mary School?
YES! All are welcome! The auction is a social, fun event for all of our guests, and we need buyers to make it a financial success — the more the merrier.
19. How much of what I spend for the auction is tax deductible?
Admission tickets to the auction cover the actual cost of your food and drink at the event and are not tax deductible.
Donations (of items and cash) to the event are USUALLY tax deductible.
In terms of “won” auction items: if you pay more for an item than the stated value of the item, any amount over the stated value MAY be tax deductible.
As always, please consult your personal tax advisor or accountant for advice on what may be deductible in your particular situation.
20. Do you need volunteers for the auction?
The SMS Auction is planned and staffed entirely by volunteers. If you’d like to help, we have an array of opportunities to put you to work, encompassing everything from acquisitions to class projects to set-up and breakdown. Some tasks can be done from home with a phone and a computer, while others involve a number of meetings. Each job provides a wonderful opportunity to become more integrated with the SMS community through meeting and working with other parents, all towards a common goal of providing exceptional education for our children. You can find volunteer opportunities posted on SchoolSpeak under “Volunteer.” You may also contact the Auction Chair, Melissa Russell, if you are interested in assisting with this year’s auction.
Help us to ensure our largest fundraising event of the year is a success!
We ask our community to support the auction in one (or more!) of the following ways:
Questions about Havana Nights?
Contact the Auction Committee Chair:
Melissa Russell, firstname.lastname@example.org