Annual Shamrauction set for Feb. 23

Annual event raises funds for tuition support


Cathedran file photo

The Welch Activity Center will be transformed for the Shamrauction on Feb. 23.

Catlin O'Connor, Reporter

On the evening of Feb. 23, the annual Shamrauction will kick off once again. Mrs. Michelle Taylor ’01, the senior director of advancement, said the theme will be “The Next 100” in reference to the 100th anniversary that the school celebrated earlier this year. 

Taylor said it will be “kind of futuristic.” She said the decor will include “lots of metallics and neons (and) technology will be a big aspect.” 

As for the main decorations for the event, Taylor said, “Well, that’s kind of a surprise.” 

 “Since Cathedral celebrated her 100th birthday this past September, we looked to the future and wanted to envision what Cathedral could look like in the next 100 years,” Taylor said. 

The entire process all starts with Taylor herself and the Director of Events, Ms. Katie O’Brien ‘08. They come up with a couple of options and present them to the chairs of the event each year.

This year’s Shamrauction’s co-chairs are Mr. Rick Streiff and Mrs. Julianne Streiff and Mr. Dennis O’Hara ‘83 and Mrs. Maryanne O’Hara ‘84.

This evening of festivities is one of the largest fundraisers for the school every year. Shamrauction has some steep goals to live up to this year. Taylor said the previous Oktoberfest Shamrauction brought in “close to $600,000, most of which is used for need-based tuition assistance and really offsets the cost of any operational needs for the school.” She said the goal for this year is “to raise $570,000, but we hope to do $600,000 again.”

There are two types of auctions that occur during the night: The live auction in the Welch Activity Center, and the silent auction in the Mimms Gymnasium, both of which are operated by both adult and student volunteers. 

The live auction includes prizes such as paid getaways, two of which have already been determined this year: a vacation to Lake Tahoe and another to Napa Valley. 

Donors are a large part of contributing to what prizes are available to win for the night, and the process of gathering donations has been in the works for months. 

With more than 700 expected to attend and more than 250 volunteers needed to put the night together, there is a lot of thought, planning and preparation put into a few hours of dancing, drinking, and spending for alumni, parents and other members of the school’s community. 

Just as in previous years when they collaborated with teachers and staff to put together the theme, Taylor and O’Brien are working with Mr. Rolly Landeros and Mrs. Gara Schommer from the technology department as well as Mrs. Michelle Vander Missen from the business/technology department. 

Help from the students is a necessity in the organization and execution of the Shamrauction every year. 

Over 100 students participate by volunteering their time, and certain athletic teams have specific roles during the various stages of the evening. 

The volleyball and football teams help with setup before the event and the baseball team assists with tearing down and cleaning up the next day. 

National Honor Society students have an opportunity to earn a point for the night by signing up in time and volunteering as waiters and servers. 

The choir performs for the guests, and theater students will line the hallway as dressed as certain futuristic characters to entertain the attendees as they walk in the entrance. 

Students can also sign up to greet guests and hand out name tags and welcome packets. 

Taylor said volunteers, both adult and student, are responsible for “a lot of behind the scenes stuff that everyone thinks just appears, but takes a lot of time to make everything just right.”

On one particular February evening, the culmination of months of preparation, planning and fundraising will finally come to fruition for one special  night that certainly should not be missed.