So what is this event anyway?
The annual spring gala is both a fundraiser for the school, and a celebration of all we’ve accomplished together this year. There is no better use of the family babysitter for a night, than a dinner-date with your spouse at an event that supports your child’s education. It’s also a great opportunity to get to know other parents, teachers, and our school’s supporters. Like most families, it’s good to get everyone around the dinner table to pray, share stories, and celebrate. So this event is like the “Aquinas Family Dinner”. There are typically auctions, speakers, awards, games and fantastic fellowship.
How should I dress for the Gala?
Most people dress as if they were attending a wedding. Go ahead and dress up! You won’t be overdressed.
What should I bring to the event?
You should bring as many friends and family members as possible! This casual and fun event is a great way to introduce others to our school. We offer a discounted price for those guests who are not parents. So definitely consider bringing family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, even the mailman – all are welcome!
You will also need to bring a credit card unless you have already pre-registered a card online.
Finally, bring a shopping list! Auction items make fantastic Wedding, First Communion, Christmas, Birthday, Mother’s day, Father’s Day, and Baptism gifts. Seriously... where else can you buy everything you need for Christmas, in April, while sipping a glass of wine and visiting with your friends?
What kinds of items are available at the auctions?
There are typically over 100 packages available for bidding at the auction. Packages range from $10 to $2,000 and include gift cards, vacation packages, children’s original artwork, and classroom created themed baskets, sporting event tickets, home décor, wine, photography packages and much, much more.
We will be sending a link to preview items in the auction a few weeks before the event.
Is there assigned seating?
Yes, we will have assigned seating, so if you are bringing guests and want to be seated by them, or just want to visit with a particular group of parents, please let the office know. We’ll make sure you are seated by those people you requested. However, tables only seat eight people, so please consider that in your planning.
How can I donate an item to the auction?
Simply drop the item off at the office with an estimate of its value. If you would like a donation receipt, please let Mrs. Heppe know and one will be provided. All donations (cash and in-kind) are fully tax deductible.
Is it true there will be a week-long online auction this year?
Yes, we will have many items available for a 7 day pre-event online auction this year. Bidding opens on Friday April 1st at noon. If you are a registered bidder you will be able to bid on any of our online auction items until Friday April 8th at noon. This will be a separate auction from the silent auction and live auction the evening of the Gala.
How do I register for the pre-event auction or the Gala event?
The registration website is: https://aquinas.ejoinme.org/gala .
Everyone who purchases a ticket to the April 9th Gala will be able to bid on the items in the pre-event online auction and on all items available the evening of April 9th.
However, “Online Bidder Only” registrants will only be able to participate in the pre-event online auction and make donations online. This second participation option is a great way to invite friends, co-workers and family to help our school and bid on great items, even if they are unable to attend Gala.
When registering, please provide a phone number or email address so we can send you a link to the bid page with your bidder number.
Do I need to install some app or software to participate in the online auction?
No. When you register for the event, you will be sent a text or email with a link to a website. That link is unique for each bidder and can be used to access the auction website from your smartphone, tablet, or any computer and you can then begin bidding using your bidder number. As long as you can access a web browser and the internet, you can bid from any device with that link.
What if I want to attend the gala and participate in the auction but I don’t have a smart phone, iPad, or other device with internet access?
When you register, simply indicate “need device” in the Special Accommodations field. We will have one ready for you to borrow for the evening.
How does the software work anyway?
Are there any items that I cannot bid on?
If you register as an “Online Bidder Only” you will not be able to bid on the silent auction items available the evening of the event or bid on any of the live auction items at the Gala. These fantastic items are reserved only for the people attending the Gala. If you want to bid on these items, please register for the event and join us!
What else can I buy during the pre-event online auction?
We have many “Fund a Need” items available for purchase. Fund a Need items are specific items our teachers and staff would like purchase for our school classrooms. Items generally range from $10 to $1,000. When you purchase these items, the funds from the purchase are given to the requesting teacher or staff member to use to purchase the item indicated. These items are 100% tax deductible and are a great way to support our teachers and the school in the specific way you choose!
You can also make an unrestricted donation to the school, which is also fully tax deductible.
Finally, there are some “Buy Now” items that can be purchased as well.
If I placed a winning bid on an item, how do I collect it?
If you attend the gala you can pick it up when you checkout at the end of the evening. Otherwise all winning bidders need to pick up their items at the school office by April 22nd. If that timeline doesn’t work for you, please let the office know as soon as possible.
I’m still totally confused; who can I call to clear up my questions?
If you have any questions, concerns of suggestions for the event, please contact Kristin Heppe at email@example.com or at (262) 502-1540.