Sacred Heart Schools’ (SHS) community attended the annual school auction gala March 30th; with the theme “Gator Land – How Sweet It Is!” transforming the school into a colorful candy land. The event attracted more than 580 attendees representing preschool through grade 12 and the Religious of the Sacred Heart.
The auction was a highly anticipated event, billed as a celebration of its fourth decade in existence. “This 40th anniversary auction was a true testament to building community,” said Director of Engagement Lisa Gamitian, who is the auction lead each year. “We welcomed back more than 30 past auction chairs spanning all four decades, each of whom played a critical role in the auction’s growth and success. The night clearly shows just how sweet our community is.”
With the overall net proceeds contributing significantly toward the school’s yearly operating budget, during each auction an additional direct appeal is made for donations to the school’s financial aid fund.
This support helps meet the more than $6.5 million in aid requests received in the past year alone, and provide assistance for approximately 1 in 5 students. Close to $350,000 was raised for that effort in the “Fund-a-Need” appeal.
“Gator Land was made possible thanks to more than 150 parents, students, faculty, and staff volunteers,” said Gamitian. “We celebrated each decade of auction chairs in a special tribute video, and of course our three auction chairs this year—Kerri Stenson, Kathleen Tiso, and Amy Wendling—who produced an outstanding event.”
Intrinsic to the school’s mission are five overarching goals, one of which focuses on “the building of community as a Christian value.”
“In the spirit of this goal, 100 percent of our faculty and staff participated in the auction, and as always, the night brought our community together to celebrate our Gator pride,” said Director of Schools Rich Dioli.