St. James Black & White Ball
Well, the party’s over and here it is …. Your last blast from us! From the feedback we received, we know you enjoyed the evening! Based on our early tally, we believe the gala far exceeded the fundraising goal set by the PTO.
It’s been a busy year, but to help the school, it was worth the effort. We know there were some mistakes but this was to be expected when you have new software, a new venue, and two very new, very green, co-chairs. It was a learning experience and the lessons we learned can only help to make things even better for next year’s event.
Our biggest regret of the evening is that we were unable to recognize the many people who helped make this year’s auction so special.
Thanks, of course, to Sister Nancy, Sister Margaret, Chris Hughes, Deb Patrick, Katy Cabbage, Kathleen Stirling, Vince Dufrane and all the staff at St. James School and Rectory for putting up with us and helping us with everything.
We would also like to thank Caroline Murn. In our very first meeting, she gave us enough information to get us started and then let us go on our own. She was instrumental along with Brian Conklin in reaching out to our sponsors.
To Gina Dean with procurement. She worked tirelessly to procure most of the items in the Silent Auction. She didn’t go anywhere without her donation contract in hand. Few merchants could turn her down and we could not have done this event without her. Special thanks also goes to her husband, Brian, and daughter, Jillian, for putting up with it all and with great humor. We are sure they are glad to have their dining room back after it was used as the landing area for every donated item.
To A.J. Valinote who produced our beautiful invitations and ad book. He was patient with our endless “one more thing.” With little direction, he created our lovely invitations that helped set the tone for the event. And with no direction, produced the ad book.
To Laura Tramonte who was responsible for helping to create our beautiful dream. As we have already shared with the Decorating Committee, on very little notice she saw our need, stepped in and brought us all on the journey that culminated into what was presented on Saturday night. Creating an atmosphere for an event where you are trying to recreate someone else’s vision is a tough thing to do. Laura and her wonderful team did all of that and then some.
To Downey Hinrichs and Kathy Gallo in heading up School, Teacher and Classroom Donations. With incredible organizational skills, the Auction was filled with amazing activities and items from our school, classrooms and awesome teachers.
To Sue Andres who along with her husband, Gary, was more than generous with donations of time and money. They not only donated the Heads & Tails New iPad prize, but with anything that was needed. Sue was boundless in her help with answering questions, always offering encouragement, and ending almost every conversation with “you’ll be fine.”
To Jeanine Musgrove and Jason Hart. At the last minute stepped in with their skills and produced our power point presentations. Jason also produced an incredible video of students and teachers of St. James that because of technical difficulties was not shown at the Auction but can now be viewed online.
To Jennifer Taylor who once again worked her magic with the ad procurement and layout. Always sunny, never flustered, and always with a spreadsheet handy.
To Anne Rohall who rocked the ad sales. With her powers of persuasion -- and proving that Catholic Guilt really does exist -- we had record ad sales!!
To Peter Seroskie who when asked didn’t hesitate in creating our fabulous Wine Wall! It’s something that will be used again and something that the cub scouts of Den 2 Wolves of Pack 681 can be proud of!
To the Alumni of St. James, Alison Dommel, Megan Dalbec, Matthew McQuillen, David McQuillen, Frank Sikorsky, Elizabeth Bloom and Vanessa Corral and even a non-St. James Alum, Will Morris, who gave up their Saturday night to help out their alma mater. They tirelessly walked the floor selling raffle tickets, drink tickets, photo booth tickets and wine wall tickets. After the silent auction closed, they entered over one thousand items into the computer in less than two hours and then helped with check out.
To Maureen Quattrocki and Robin Cook, the coolest-under-pressure volunteers ever to be seen at St. James. They have both volunteered with check out for a number of years without any fanfare. They managed to keep all of us calm.
Although we’ve only spotlighted a few here, we owe much thanks to all the volunteers that helped make the evening such a success. The broadest and maybe the most meaningful definition of volunteering is: “Doing more than you have to because you want to, in a cause you consider good.” Everyone that helped in the Auction epitomizes the very essence of “volunteer.”
Last, but certainly not least, we must thank two of the hardest working men at St. James, our husbands, Marc DeLuca and Peter Hart. Without their help, especially the physical help, encouragement and love, none of this would have been possible. They were our biggest cheerleaders and many days were both father and mother to our girls, Caroline, Campbell and Grace and did it all without missing a beat.
So now it’s over. We are now seasoned and wiser from the experience. It was terrifying, exhilarating, exhausting, frustrating, funny, and then even more exhausting -- at times all at once -- but it was an experience that we will never forget and we thank each and every one of you for making it such a success!
Thank you for everything.
Mary Beth DeLuca and Elizabeth Hart
2012 Auction/Gala Co-Chairs