Promotional graphic for the 43rd annual auction and community celebration, "We Are Country Day." (Graphic courtesy of Rachelle Doyle)

Auction to go online, feature community celebration

The 43rd annual auction, originally called “Una Noche de Cine (A Night of Cinema),” has undergone a lot of change. It was shifted online, with live and silent auctions from May 12-16, due to concerns about COVID-19, then was augmented with an online community celebration, “We Are Country Day.” The auction and celebration will take place on May 16 at 5:30 p.m. through Zoom. 

“Una Noche de Cine” has been moved to 2021. 

Director of advancement Rachelle Doyle said the theme was chosen due to auction co-chair Pepa Novell’s Spanish heritage and a festival of the same name.

“She wanted to bring her culture and background to our community,” Doyle said. 

Novell plans to return as co-chair when the auction is scheduled to be held live at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel (500 J St.) in 2021.

While last year’s auction, “An Evening in the Caribbean” at Country Day, raised $194,328, according to Doyle, the focus of this year’s auction is on the community while still encouraging donations.

The money raised will go toward supporting students, staff and faculty, as well as to unforeseen expenses caused by the pandemic. The Fund-A-Need event, usually held to raise money for Country Day Scholars, will go toward building a Country Day Community Fund set up for COVID-19-related tuition assistance. 

The online celebration will feature videos of lower, middle and high school students, including clips of the choir and student philanthropy ambassadors. Video well-wishes from Country Day families and alumni will also be featured, as well as a speech by head of school Lee Thomsen. 

Doyle said “We Are Country Day” will focus on the community coming together during the quarantine, as well as offer an opportunity to have fun and show support for others. 

She envisions “everybody in our community coming together to showcase how they’re still thriving.”

—By Samhita Kumar

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