Jacqueline Chao
Middle school parents toast at last year’s annual auction. The theme was ‘Hometown Journeys.’

Since “Celebrate the Best!” is this year’s auction theme, attendees better bring their A-game.

The 41st annual auction will be held on Saturday, April 21, from 6-10 p.m. at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel (500 J St.).

Auction co-chair Amie Stevenson said that the theme was a collaborative decision made by the auction committee.

“Our theme is kind of ‘Best of’ – the best of Sacramento,” she said.

“Because the auction is at the Kimpton, and it’s downtown and some place new, we just felt like, well, we (have) the best school, the best teachers, the best students – maybe we should just do a ‘Best of’ theme.”

Unlike other years, after the event is over, the night doesn’t stop. Because of the spacious venue, the auction is hosting an after-party.

“There’s a very nice bar area that surrounds the pool deck overlooking Downtown Commons,” Stevenson said.

“For people who want to stay later, it’s a continuation of the event to keep things going.”

And because the auction is at a hotel, attendees have the option to stay even later than the after-party by spending the night.

“(The Kimpton) gave us a discount on a block of rooms, so people who want to spend the night get more than just a few-hour event,” Stevenson said.

According to Stevenson, this year’s theme may be simple, but it’s produced some interesting and “fun” baskets centered around anything from countries to theme parks.

“We have a person that’s doing a Greek basket this year,” Stevenson said.

“She’s actually from Greece.”

And a person from the Netherlands is putting together a Dutch basket.

“(There’s) somebody doing a Disney basket too – I’m not sure what it will have in it, but it could have tickets and paraphernalia,” Stevenson said.

The baskets are fewer in number compared to previous years but higher in value, according to Stevenson. Director of advancement Carolyn Woolf said that the total number of baskets is estimated to be between 10 and 14.

The baskets, which are part of the live auction, will be accompanied by other similarly extravagant items.

This year the star of the show is the lineup of concert tickets.

“We have tickets to Harry Styles, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Taylor Swift – for the country lovers – and Elton John,” Stevenson said.

For those who aren’t into the music scene, other options include two nights in a historic Tahoe lakefront home and a private dinner at Zocalo’s with a limo escort.

On the night of the auction, parents will first be directed to the Magnolia Ballroom, where the evening will be kicked off with a champagne toast.

It’s also where the sit-down dinner provided by the Kimpton will take place.

The meal will start with a salad, and the main course is a chicken entree (plus a vegetarian option). There will also be appetizer tartlets.

After dinner, the outside deck of the ballroom will be open for cocktails, and the auction will take place in the mezzanine area upstairs.

Although there is technically no dress code, to go along with the ritzy venue, Stevenson said auction-goers should aim for cocktail casual or dressier.

As in past years, Fund-a-Need, a practice where parents have a bidding competition to give the biggest donation, will be a component of the auction, and proceeds will go to the Country Day Scholars Program, which provides four-year scholarships to incoming ninth-grade students from diverse backgrounds who require financial aid.

The Golden Ticket will also make an appearance. Up to 150 tickets are sold for $100 each, and the winner of the draw at the beginning of the live auction will get to choose any one item.

Regular auction tickets are $150 and can be bought in the school’s main office or online at scdsauction.org.

Stevenson said that she and fellow co-chair Emily Stephenson are always looking for volunteers, especially those who can help with setup and cleanup.

Information about volunteering, auction items and tickets can be found on the auction website.

—By Mohini Rye 

Originally posted in the April 10 edition of the Octagon.

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