The figure of Mary on St. Mary’s Academy.
The figure of Mary on St. Mary’s Academy.
For the third consecutive year, the St. Mary’s Academy school auction established a new high mark, raising $1,075,000 — the most in the 158-year-old school’s history.

“This year’s theme was ‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go,’ and it was so appropriate, given that the journey taken by each young woman at St. Mary’s Academy is made possible by the support of our community,” said Christina Friedhoff, president of the Portland school.

“The generosity shown by our parents, alumnae and benefactors continues to amaze me. They truly believe in the value of what we do as Oregon’s only all-female, Catholic, college-preparatory school.”

More than 700 guests gathered at the Oregon Convention Center for the April 8 event, which was emceed by Deb Knapp of KATU-TV.

Highlights included a performance by the cast of St. Mary’s production of “The Sound of Music.” Guests bid on more than 45 auction items and contributed $356,500 as part of Bids for Kids, a paddle-raise to fund St. Mary’s tuition assistance program, which benefits more than 40 percent of the school’s families.

Administrators said the event’s success was due in large part to the work of this year’s co-chairs, parents Andrew Berlinberg, Gay Ellen Eagan, Anna Graham, Mike Hagel and Ria Look.

“Our auction is both a celebration of St. Mary’s Academy and the most important fundraising event for our school,” said Emily Niedermeyer Becker, a 1986 St. Mary’s graduate and vice president of development at the school. “So much work goes into the event, and we could not do it without our co-chairs. They are wonderful examples of the kind of generosity demonstrated by hundreds in our St. Mary’s community.”