Lake Ridge Academy outgrew one location for its annual fundraiser and moved to another for this year’s Auction Gala. The Galleria was the site for this year’s event, attended by 250 guests. They were made to feel welcome in the large space through the efforts of dozens of volunteers. Among the volunteers were the school’s teachers, who helped in just about every area. Many guests opted for black-tie attire, which raised the elegance level a few more notches.
The event was titled “The Stars Are Out Tonight,” and the decorations reflected this theme. The high ceilings of the Galleria were perfect for stars, twinkle lights and even some early snowflakes. Table decorations and centerpieces were themed as well.
Throughout a social hour, guests bid on hundreds of silent auction items. The hard-working committee grouped them and, as is traditional at events such as these, the food and wine item tables received a lot of attention. Unique to this event was a collection of auction items called “Royally Made.” Student-athletes are referred to as “the Royals,” so the title was apt. All of the items were made by faculty, staff and alums. They ranged from private ukulele lessons to homemade cookies. The auction closed by section and the active bidders moved from place to place.
I was the dinner guest of Susan and Bob Smith, long-time strong supporters of education and children’s causes. Bob is chairman of the Lake Ridge Academy board and, in that capacity, welcomed guests. The Sammy’s catered dinner was in its best traditions. Funds raised at the event will support the school in general. Co-chairwomen Cindy Fairchild, Pam Kolczun, Clare Navratil and Brenda Norton also made a special paddle raise in the fund-a-need tradition. Guests made pure donations to the school for a specific cause. At this event, it was called “Extreme Makeover, Campus Edition.” Other components of the Lake Ridge Academy event were a variety of raffles and a dozen live auction items.