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Silent Auction

Bid in the Silent Auction and Sign Up for Count Me In Parties
February 25th - March 5th

Bidding starts at 5:00 p.m. on February 25th and is open to everyone!
Our auction items were made possible by the generosity of the School of St. Mary families, as well as our wonderful parishioners, alumni, teachers, staff, and Lake Forest community friends. Thank you to everyone for your incredible contributions and support! 

Click here for full details and to see items


Please join us for the School of St. Mary Annual Crusader Gala! 


School of St. Mary Annual Crusader Gala:
Sparkle in the Northwoods

Saturday, March 4, 2023 - 6:00-11:00 p.m.
The Shanty, Wadsworth

(about 20 minutes north of the UGC and PGC)
Cocktail Attire

Gala Program

The Annual Crusader Gala is a long-standing school tradition for school and parish families to support the Crusader Annual Fund with their generous donations that help ensure our students, teachers, and faculty have the resources they need To Learn. To Serve. To Lead.

Frequently Asked Questions

Saturday, March 4, 2023
6:00 – 11:00 p.m.

We host the Annual Crusader Gala to support the Crusader Fund and grow together as a community. The Parents Association's goal is to raise $330,000 this school year, with 100% parent participation. The funds are used for:

  • Scholarships that allow students to have a School of St. Mary's education;
  • Faculty who love and care about our students and who are skilled educators; and
  • An environment that makes successful education possible.

As of December 29, we have raised $33,970, with 28 families (10%) participating. 

The evening will feature a paddle raise and live auction to help us support the Crusader Fund. Stay tuned for more details about the incredible live auction items!

We’re holding our annual silent auction – which will be online from February 25 – March 5, so anyone can support the Crusader Fund, even if you can’t make it to the Gala. The auction will include a range of amazing items, including “Count Me In” sign-up parties, generously donated by the School of St. Mary, Church of St. Mary, and Lake Forest community. We’ll be sharing more details soon.

You can also support the Crusader Fund by joining the raffle to win one K-8 2023-24 school year tuition or $5,000 cash. Tickets go on sale Monday, January 9, and the winning ticket will be drawn at the Gala (but you don’t need to be present to win). Get your tickets at! (Please refer to all raffle rules and guidelines as posted on the School of St. Mary’s website. The purchase of raffle tickets is not tax-deductible per IRS regulations.)

Everyone is welcome – school families, parishioners, family & friends! We encourage anyone who loves supporting the School of St. Mary to join us, so our community can continue to thrive!

Tickets are $150 each until Friday, February 10, when prices increase to $175 each. In addition, tables of 8 seats can be purchased for $1,500 – and then you can fill the table with your family & friends.

We’ve been able to reduce the ticket price by about 25% from previous years, despite rising food and beverage costs. Many thanks to the Kallianis family, who is hosting us at The Shanty.

Tickets go on sale Thursday, January 19. There is limited space, so buy your tickets before they sell out! You can buy tickets at

Tickets include an open, premium bar (6-11 p.m.), a delicious dinner, and live entertainment. The ticket price covers the expenses associated with hosting the Gala, so the evening will feature a paddle raise, live auction, and other activities to generate donations to the Crusader Fund. 

The menu will feature an amazing assortment of appetizers, entrees, and sides, including:

  • Chilled Shrimp Cocktail (GF) with horseradish and lemon aioli
  • French Brie and Raspberry in rolled filo and oven toasted in butter
  • Goat Cheese Wontons with sweet chili sauce and wasabi cream
  • Kale Pomegranate Salad (GF) with red apples, tomato and vinegarette
  • Maryland Style Crab Cakes with chipotle cream and shaved green onion
  • Braised Beef Short Rib Sliders with wine demi-glacé and pickled red onion
  • Seared Chicken Vesuvio with a lemon wine reduction and parmesan
  • Tomato Vodka Meatballs with parmesan and Italian parsley
  • Mediterranean Orzo Pasta (GF) with herbs, micro vegetables, and olive oil
  • Apple Brandy Pork Shanks (GF) with cranberry balsamic reduction
  • Filet Mignon (GF), 45-day aged with local herb butter and red wine reduction

Yes! We’ll do our best to accommodate requests to sit together as space allows. There will be an option on the ticket purchase page to make this request. If you’re new to the school, we’ll be sure you’re seated with people from your child’s/children’s class/es. The Gala is an amazing way to meet families!

We recommend cocktail attire, but you’re welcome to wear whatever you feel most comfortable in to “Sparkle in the Northwoods” (think rustic elegance or a little glitz + Northwoods casual) and have fun!

We’re so grateful to be hosting the Gala at The Shanty, which is owned by the Kallianis family, whose children (Eleni and Deano) are students at the School of St. Mary. The Shanty is a local favorite for many Church of St. Mary’s families -- the food is amazing, and the atmosphere is so welcoming & fun! The Shanty is located just 15 miles north of the UGC and PGC, in Wadsworth (directly north on 41). 

The Shanty was recently renovated (after it was featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”) with a beautiful, Northwoods lodge vibe – which is how we came up with the “Sparkle in the Northwoods” theme. Check out these beautiful pictures of The Shanty or visit

There will be plenty of parking if you'd like to drive. Several families are organizing shuttle buses to/from Lake Forest. You can contact Leah Woock for more information: or 646-457-7616.

You can reach out to the co-chairs at any time: Michelle Kijek (312.952.0220) and Katie Reynolds (773.405.0960).

Yes! A local band -- Matt Meyer, Colby Millea & The Smooth Riders – will be playing a mix of blues, classic and pop rock favorites.

The Gala is organized by SOSM volunteer families, and they’d always love help with event planning, and outreach to help secure auction donations and raffle ticket sales. Please contact the co-chairs and let them know how you can help! Michelle Kijek (312.952.0220) or and Katie Reynolds (773.405.0960) or

Count Me In Parties raise support for the Crusader Fund while also offering fun and social engagement as a community. We’ve heard from parents that they love having more opportunities to socialize and connect with other families – and last year, nearly every Count Me In Party sold out quickly!

Count Me In Parties are fun and creative events with a fixed buy-in price. There are parties for kids and adults, and some events are designated for specific grade levels (check the descriptions closely). The party hosts have generously agreed to assume the full cost of the parties, so 100% of proceeds benefit the Crusader Fund. THANK YOU to our incredibly generous families and teachers for the creative and fun ideas this year!

Count Me In Party slots are available for purchase during the silent auction, February 25 – March 5. You can sign up for as many as you’d like!

Browse the Count Me In Parties generously donated by SOSM families and teachers within the silent auction site HERE.


Thank You Gala Sponsors!


The annual Gala helps the School of St. Mary thrive by supporting: 

  • Exceptional academics
  • Technology, tools, and resources for every child and in every classroom
  • Opportunities for learning outside the classroom through athletics, the arts, leadership development, and spiritual growth
  • Financial aid to help Crusader families
  • Competitive salaries, benefits, and ongoing professional development for our dedicated and caring faculty and staff