West Seattle schools: Fundraising turnabout @ Holy Rosary auction

It’s the season for school auction/dinner events, including a few more this weekend. Among them, the Holy Rosary auction last night – which wound up raising money for another area school, too! The story is told by auction emcee and West Seattle journalist Gregg Hersholt, after the jump:

Something pretty extraordinary happened (Saturday night) at the Holy Rosary School auction – I know, because I was the emcee – and I thought it would be cool to get the word out.

First of all, the level of bidding by the parents and supporters was more than I have ever seen in the 25+ years I have been involved in Holy Rosary auctions. Mundane items like free parking in front of the church for Mass, or class art projects, or the chance to climb the bell tower with the pastor went in the $2000 range consistently. (There were 65 items, so this really added up).

But at the end of the evening, when you’d think most people were tapped out, they showed a video and had the principal of neighboring Holy Family School in White Center get up and talk a little about their fight to stay open while so many of their kids come from impoverished families, and their urgent need for new textbooks for the school.

Then the auctioneer (Pat Cashman) asked people for donations. They raised $20,000 for the neighboring parish! The auction chairwoman was in tears afterward. Makes you proud to live in West Seattle!

By the way, if you haven’t heard, Gregg has just started a new radio job – which is Seattle’s loss, as he’s on the air at KXL in Portland – but as last night proved, that doesn’t mean West Seattle’s seen the last of him.

11 Replies to "West Seattle schools: Fundraising turnabout @ Holy Rosary auction "

  • Ann April 10, 2011 (8:47 pm)

    This moment spoke to the strength of community at it’s finest.

  • Silly Goose April 10, 2011 (9:13 pm)

    This is why we love Holy Rosary!! GO GATORS!!

  • FF April 10, 2011 (9:39 pm)

    Where is the Fulcrum Foundation — the multi-million dollar foundation set up to bridge the gap between rich and poor Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle? Thank you, Holy Rosary, for caring enough to make a difference.

  • JMB April 10, 2011 (10:00 pm)

    I was also impressed by the outpouring of support by the Holy Rosary family when this portion of the night happened. It was amazing!!

  • HRS Parent April 11, 2011 (12:35 pm)

    This is what community is all about. Actions speak louder than words.

  • Catholic school teacher April 11, 2011 (5:14 pm)


    I wanted to answer your question about Fulcrum Foundation’s involvement in supporting our struggling Catholic schools. Last year Fulcrum gave over $1,000,000 to 24 Catholic schools to directly support their operating budgets and provided scholarships to more than 1200 students.

    Sadly for many schools this assistance allows them to keep the lights on for another year or complete deferred maintenance instead of improving curriculum and instruction. It’s so wonderful to hear about how Holy Rosary families raised money to provide students and teachers at Holy Family with the resources they so deserve.

  • Joe Womac April 11, 2011 (7:58 pm)

    Catholic School Teacher and FF:

    Thank you for your comments and interest in Fulcrum. “Catholic School Teacher” hits the nail on the head, as do the other inspired comments above. Fulcrum has contributed a great deal to Holy Family, White Center and we continue to do so. We do this with pride and as a consequence of our many generous supporters. Over the past five years, hundreds of students have attended that wonderfully diverse school with our assistance, teachers have received grants to improve their classrooms, and every year we have sent tens of thousands to the school in operating or project support.

    That said, as said by “Catholic School Teacher”, our grants are not enough to do all that ought to be done for the students of Holy Family. We simply do not have the funds yet to meet all the needs of all of our inner-city and rural school communities.

    This makes the tremendous fund-a-need gift from Holy Rosary for Holy Family especially meaningful. This additional support from Holy Rosary is an incredible show of solidarity and an incredible show of both big “C” and little “c” Catholicism. I am proud to know and work with many of the Holy Rosary and Holy Family community members and applaud this investment in the futures of the students in both schools. Thank you Holy Rosary Community for your inspiring generosity!

    Joe Womac
    Executive Director
    Fulcrum Foundation

  • PDH April 11, 2011 (7:59 pm)

    It was wonderful to be a part of this auction and I believe nearly every family donated to help. We are all part of the same community and I am so proud to see how important $s were raised to help educate our community’s children. I know other schools (public and private) have been considering partnering similarly. It makes me proud to know so many who care. Way to go West Seattle!!

  • keb April 13, 2011 (1:16 pm)

    Thank you Holy Rosary for the fine demonstration of caring for all. Without your help, the teachers in the school would not have the up to date textbooks to teach from with their students. As a graduate, a parent of graduates, and a teacher – thank you again. The teachings of Christ lives on in your hearts. God bless each and everyone of you.

  • Frank Catwell April 15, 2011 (3:24 pm)

    The outpouring of help, in the form of financial aid, last Saturday night, from the Holy Rosary School community for Holy Family Parish School, was overwhelming. In these difficult financial times, we never seem to have enough money for the things we need, never mind the things we would like. We do our best to take care of our families and help our friends. I know that the people of Holy Rosary work very hard for their money, and for them to share it with Holy Family, is simply “awesome.”
    As the principal of Holy Family Parish School, I would like to thank the entire Holy Rosary community for their more than generous gift. I try to never miss an opportunity to thank the Fulcrum Foundation because they have been instrumental in keeping us the school we are today. I would like to thank Father John Madigan and Doctor Randy Peters for all their help in making this happen. I would like to thank those special people behind the scenes, who prefer to remain anonymous, who worked tirelessly to make this a reality. God Bless you all.
    Frank Cantwell
    Principal, Holy Family Parish School, Seattle

  • wsone April 15, 2011 (10:19 pm)


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