By any standard of measure, the Oaks Christian Virtual Gala. "Together, A Day to Give," was a rousing success, netting over $740,000 through sponsorships, silent and live auction items and Moment to Give contributions.
Like many other non-profits adjusting to the pandemic, Oaks Christian hosted a virtual gala for the first time ever, and the total raised was the second highest in school history. The highest-netting gala was the last one, in-person, with former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at the Reagan Presidential Library in 2019.
(story continues below photos)
“What an amazing virtual event. We are so grateful to God for all He has done in and through our generous donors to make this night and this school year a success, “said Chief Development Officer Eddie Moore. “Students’ lives are blessed through Oaks Christian School, and the future is bright because we are able to continue sending young men and women out into the world with minds for leadership and hearts for service. We couldn’t do it without you, our amazing community of partners and supporters. Thank you!”
The online event saw lively bidding action on items such as a European river cruise, a week-long African Safari, an exclusive Dodger packet with Orel Hershiser, a purebred Labrador Retriever, Napa Valley Wine tour, and more. The highest package, a Mexican Villa vacation extravaganza, topped the bidding at $35,000.
Despite the online nature, registered guests got into the spirit of the event, hosting watch parties at their homes, some complete with catered meals, full, sit-down elegant dinners and outdoor cocktail hours.
OCS parent Jean Kim and her family hosted a party at their home, and while they missed an in-person event, they enjoyed watching along with others.
“I loved gathering with other OCS parents in a social setting especially after the year we’ve had. It was just so nice to hang out and watch the gala together,” she said. “It definitely wasn’t the same BUT the school definitely made it the best it could be... all in all, it was SO much fun!!
Fellow OCS parent Ryan O’Quinn who, along with his wife, co-hosted the event with the Echevarria family and two other OCS families at the Echevarria home, echoes the sentiment.
“While it was no comparison to an in-person event, it was far better than having no event. We made the best of it by casting the full program on the big screen and enjoying each other's company,
“I personally enjoyed the touches of seeing the students showcase some of their gifts on behalf of the gala, such as the music at the top, the song on the beach at the end (of the livestream). It helps underscore the reason we are all a part of this amazing school,” he added.