Over $1 Million Raised, TK - 12 Expansion Announced, Chicago Headlined
After a two-year hiatus that included a cancelled dinner auction, and a virtual one due to COVID-19, the OCS community celebrated the return of an in-person gala in a big way! Over 800 guests enjoyed an upscale evening at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.
Themed “You're the Inspiration,” and featuring the Grammy winning band Chicago, the event exceeded expectations. The inspiring evening raised a preliminary of $1.3 million through silent, online, and live auctions, sponsorships, and ticket sales.
“It was amazing to have so many of our community together again, with an opportunity to fellowship face-to-face,” said Chief Development Officer Eddie Moore, “The event was an incredible success in many ways. The highlight for me was the generosity displayed by everyone in the room, from sponsors to volunteers, to board members, all centered around the OCS mission and impacting the students of today and the future!
The biggest moment of the evening was the live announcement by Head of School Rob Black that the OCS Board of Trustees has approved for the expansion of Oaks Christian into a PreK – 12 grade school.
The school has begun the process of identifying a suitable location and funding for the new elementary school. The gala was the first public fundraising announcement, and to date a significant investment has already been committed by donor families and the OCS community at large.
“In just a short time, our community has stepped up in a big way to help ensure the success of this expansion. We are still in the early stages, but we are extremely grateful for these preliminary commitments, which will encourage others to invest in our community’s children and build on this foundation,” said Black.
The elementary school news was well-received by guests in attendance who were thrilled and delighted about the potential and opportunities the endeavor brings.
“We were excited to hear that Oaks expanding into elementary. We will have three kids going to Oaks next year, and two more in elementary, so we are thrilled with the announcement,” said OCS parent Jeff Bernd. “It was a great evening and a lot of fun to meet parents. We started at Oaks during COVID, so it was nice to meet more parents in person.”
The evening was emceed by actor and OCS parent John O’Hurley and featured the legendary singer/songwriter Paul Anak with a special rendition of “My Way” tweaked just for the OCS community. OCS performing arts students and visual arts students set the mood with their music and arts as guests entered to check in. The cocktail hour included the silent auction on the mezzanine floor and guests were able to bid on beautiful jewelry, sports items and memorabilia, vacation experiences, and other fabulous items.
And back for another year was the dynamic Jim Nye, auctioneer extraordinaire who pleaded, pressured, and prodded guests to open up their wallets and support the school’s mission through the live auction. The three biggest live items auctioned included: Date Night Extravaganza– $16,000; Beautiful Golden Doodle Puppy- $12,000, and trip to the famed Pebble Beach with golf at Spanish Bay – $25,000
The online auction itself raised $300,000, a new OCS online auction record!
Lisa and John O'Hurley, left, Paul Anka, right.