Auction & Gala
Last year from the auction, CES raised over $65,000, and more than $21,000 to renovate the Murdock Room. Your generosity will make a huge difference in the financial success of the Gala, which directly benefits the excellent educational programs at Christ Episcopal School.
CES "Denim and Diamonds" Auction and Gala Survival Guide
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
The CES Auction and Gala is on Friday, February 8th. What IS this event?!
The Auction and Gala is our school's largest annual fundraising event! The money raised at the Auction helps offset the costs of educating each child at CES.
Is it true that the tuition we pay does not cover the full cost of our child's education?
Yes, it's true! The money raised at the Auction and Gala helps bridge the gap between expenses covered by tuition and the cost of providing each student an exceptional CES education. Without the monies raised at the Gala, tuition for each student would be as much as $2,000 more.
Does the school raise a lot of money through the Auction and Gala?
Yes, thanks to the generosity of our local businesses and CES families! Last year CES raised over $65,000, and raised more than $21,000 to renovate the Murdock Room as part of our ongoing plans to upgrade all of the academic spaces over the next few years! In years past, money raised at the Gala has helped us get two school buses, technology upgrades, a full remodel of the art room, and curriculum enhancements.
Is the Gala FUN?!
The gala is a super fun night out! Whether you are a new CES parent, or a long time member of the CES family, it is hands down a great night with old and new friends! And for a good cause!
What does everyone DO at the Gala?
We eat amazing appetizers, dinner, and desserts, and enjoy adult beverages! We get to bid on amazing silent auction items, we have fun with games like 'Heads and Tails", and laugh through the Live Auction as we playfully battle it out with other parents, with the help of a real live auctioneer of course! And then we dance with music provided by a great DJ!
What does it cost for a person to attend, and how do we sign up?
Each CES family will receive a printed invitation in the mail right before Christmas break. There is a card included in the invitation so you can RSVP. The invitation will detail the costs per person to attend, sponsorship opportunities, and more. And that price includes everything -- food, dancing, and an open bar!
Where does the Auction and Gala take place?
This year it will be held in the newly renovated Murdock Room at Christ Episcopal School. The space is beautiful, the food delicious, and there is ample parking available.
Does the Gala have a theme?
Every year the Gala has a new theme. This year's theme is "Denim and Diamonds"
Do the students get to come to the Gala?
No. This is an adult-only party. So parents have to remember to line up their babysitters (like, now)!
What do I wear to this event?
Snazzy Denim. And Diamonds! Your favorite dresses and ties are perfect! Everyone always has fun dressing up!
Is there assigned seating for the dinner?
No. Everyone gets to spend the evening mingling and moving about.
How will we know what the auction items are?
The "Denim and Diamonds" catalog will be sent home in the students' backpacks the week before the event. In the catalog you will find all of the silent and live auction items, the schedule of events for the evening, and great advertisements from businesses supporting our school. Please bring your catalog to the event- it will also serve as your auction paddle!
What types of items are typically auctioned off?
There is something for everyone! There are gift certificates to restaurants all over Montgomery County and DC! There are spa services for people who like to be pampered! Wine and other spirits! There are toys and games! There are tickets to sporting events and other family outings! Amazing trips! You can even buy your child's teacher a day off, win being in the front row at all school performances, have your child be head of school for a day, or name the school driveway! And there are teacher treats! CES Teachers generously donate fun experiences that teacher and student can do together! Of all the auction items, these are children's favorites! Some of the items that sell for the highest prices are the artwork pieces (2018) created by each CES class! The works really are priceless!
How does the school get items to auction off at the Gala?
We have a great Acquisitions Committee that has already been busy contacting businesses near and far. BUT they really need help! The success of the auction depends in part on the items we can acquire. Imagine the amazing auction we will enjoy if every CES family acquires just ONE donated item! Parents who are willing to help should speak with our Acquisitions Chair, CES Alumni Parent Martha Patterson, for more details on the acquisition process. Donation forms are available HERE. It is super easy to fill one out!
Silent Auction vs. Live Auction?
At the Gala, we have both a silent auction and a live auction. For the silent auction, the items up for auction will be on display for the first two hours of the Gala. Each item will have a piece of paper in front of it, which includes the amount of money people can bid on the item, and a place for you to put your auction number, which will printed on your catalog. List your best bid for the item using this number. Pay attention to when bidding closes. If you aren't watching, you may be outbid on your favorite item! The Live Auction portion of the evening is exactly what you picture with respect to an auction- an auctioneer and fast-paced bidding! This is a very fun part of the evening- the bidding wars are epic! But it is all in good fun! In 2018 we added a special "Best of Live" Raffle, where ONE lucky winner chose an item form the live auction. Click HERE to find out more!
Do I have to buy something at the Auction?
No. You are not required to buy anything at the event. However, all proceeds that are raised at the Auction, benefit CES and the students. The auction team makes sure there are items up for auction at all different price points- low, medium, and high! So just contribute as your heart leads you! At the very least, be sure to come out for a fun night with the CES family!
Do the CES teachers and staff come to the Auction and Gala?
Yes! It would not be an Auction and Gala without the teachers and staff! The school covers the ticket cost for each teacher so that all faculty can attend. When you RSVP, parents do have an opportunity to contribute to the cost of teachers' tickets if they want, which in turn helps the school.
What is the Wine and Whiskey Patron Dinner Party?
The Wine and Whiskey Patron Dinner Party is another fun pre-gala event for CES parents! This year it was held on Friday, January 11, 2019 at the home of CES Parents and Jason Bromer and Julie Suh. At the event, dinner and drinks are served, and the "price of admission" to the party is a bottle of wine or whiskey valued at $50 or higher (really, with a catered dinner and drinks included, that is a cheap night out!). All bottles of wine and whiskey that are collected at the party are auctioned off at the Gala! It's just a fun opportunity for a night out with new and old CES friends! Check out the list of 2018 donations HERE.
What is "Raise the Paddle"?
Raise the Paddle is when, during the live auction, the auctioneer asks everyone to raise their auction paddle to donate at various monetary levels to a specific need the school has identified. Last year, our Raise the Paddle effort went to renovating the Murdock Room, which is part of a long range plan to upgrade all of the academic spaces over the next few years. With everyone's generous contributions, we raised $21,000 and all the students this year are enjoying an amazing new multi purpose space! Please include the "Raise the Paddle" opportunity in your budget for the Gala evening.
What is "Heads or Tails"?
This is a quick spirited game that will be played during the live auction. A tremendous prize goes to the winner of this year's Heads and Tails game! At a cost of only $20 to play, the winner will receive a beautiful piece of jewelry from Boone and Sons! Join the fun! Plan to play!
If I win something, can I take it home at the end of the evening?
Yes! A majority of items will be available for you to take home! Because we have a great checkout system (thank you CES staff!), you will be able to know quickly and easily if you won, pay for your items, pick them up off the table after checkout and take them home! Isn't instant gratification wonderful sometimes?
Strength in Numbers?
Consider teaming together as a few parents or as an entire class for larger auction items or experiences! Consider buying your teacher a day off! Or naming the school driveway! Trip packages or teacher treat outings! The possibilities are endless, especially when parents pool resources and work together!
Do you need help with set-up and clean-up?
Absolutely! We need as many helpers as possible on the day before and of the event! The more volunteers we have, the faster we get everything set up in time to put on our cocktail attire and dancing shoes! You'll get a preview of all of the amazing auction items! If you are helping with Gala set up, you can leave your child(ren) at CES Extended Day that afternoon for no charge. At the end of the event, please consider lending a hand with clean up. Many hands make light work!
How do I keep up to date on "all things Gala"?
The school will keep you updated on "all things Gala" in the Cardinal that comes out every Wednesday. Be sure to look for an invitation in your Email box for the Wine and Whiskey Patron Dinner Party, and then in your old fashioned mailbox for the Gala invitation!