Saint Mary’s Hall School Hosts Traditional Gala
By Ellie Leeper Photography By Greg Harrison
Saint Mary’s Hall school transfixed its supporters this spring with their gala, Passport 2013: fascinare. The evening of the gala found guests dining cuisine from the RK group, all the while captivated by the performance of an acrobatic aerialist maneuvering on a single ribbon suspended from the ceiling. After dinner and live entertainment, guests participated in the live auction where they battled for 11 one-of-a-kind items including entertainment packages, travel and more, raising over $250,000. Post-auction, the guests were compelled by a video about students and faculty whose lives have been enriched and transformed by their educational opportunities at Saint Mary’s Hall. The sentimental and empowering stories motivated guests to raise their paddles in support of financial aid for students and the Peggy Pitman Mays Fund for Excellence in Teaching.
Chairing this year’s Passport gala were Michele and Jeff Vance, a couple who have been connected to the Saint Mary’s Hall family. Jeff is an alumnus himself, and he and Michele have seen 13 additional family members attend the school. Leading their host committee that consisted of several local philanthropic couples, the evening hosted over 600 of the school’s family members and supporters. This year’s gala was particularly exciting in that it was the first year the school was able to both highlight and utilize their newest playground, the Alonso Ancira Event Center.
Passport began in 1989 and is a campus tradition that has since raised over three million dollars for improvements, technology, financial aid and faculty development since then. Passport 2013: facinare was an evening to remember—a keystone of support for my alma mater’s motto: teach us delight in simple things and reflects the largest special event fundraiser at Saint Mary’s Hall, an auction-style gala held every other year on the school’s campus.