Auction FAQ’s


What is the auction?

The annual gala auction is the greatest single fundraiser undertaken by both the parents and the school. Our annual gala auction has been raising approximately $80,000 each year, for the past several years. This goal has been reached through company sponsorships, business or family ads in our auction catalog, and many donations from our school families and area businesses. The event has been held each spring in area locations such as the Double Tree, the Omni, John Paul Jones Arena, UVA’s Alumni Hall and the Pavilion at the Boar’s Head Inn. The evening begins with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres during a silent auction followed by a live auction throughout a plated dinner and dessert. The evening ends with entertainment by a live local band.

Why an auction? Why not try other ways of raising funds?

There are number of ways for a school to raise money. The majority of methods involve door-to-door sales of wrapping paper, magazines or popcorn as well as bake sales and yard sales. While each of these methods does create income, no combination of these type fund raisers can make as much money for our school as the annual gala auctions do.

The auction is a highly focused fundraising event. Our Catholic community and the community at large have become familiar with both Charlottesville Catholic School and our annual gala auction. Because we have focused our fundraising to a few very selective events, we are not unrelentingly asking our families to donate or spend money on items they may not really want or need.

What are the goals for the auction?

The current design of the auction serves three goals:

1. Raise Money. Clearly the funds made are considerable and of great benefit to our school community. Raising money must always be the auction’s first goal.

2. Community. The auction serves as an opportunity for CCS parents to come together for an elegant evening out to celebrate our school, the school community and the common interest in the Catholic education of our children.

3. Public Relations. Celebrating our school at the auction with the area’s greater Catholic community, keeps a strong connection with our non-school family supporters. Many local parishioners support Catholic education, and we invite them all to join us in celebration of Charlottesville Catholic School.

Where does the money go?

The money raised at the auction goes first to the school’s Catholic Education Fund to allow CCS to continue to be able to offer multi-child family discounts and tuition aid. Once this obligation has been met, all additional funds contribute to improvements to our school above and beyond our daily needs and budgeted expenditure.

Who coordinates and organizes the auction?

The auction has historically been organized by CCS parent volunteers with the assistance of the CCS Development Office. Due to the annual workload of an event of this size, the auction has now become organized by the CCS Development Office with the continued assistance of many parent volunteers.

What is the history of the gala auction?

Our very first auction was held in November 1996, at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish Hall, barely three months after Charlottesville Catholic School opened its doors to our children. An enormous amount of effort by a very small group of people went into that short span of time and the auction netted over $13,000. The following year, the auction was again held in November at St. Thomas and brought in over $32,000. By the time we reached the 1998/1999 school year, the auction was moved to the spring to allow more planning time and was moved to the Doubletree Hotel, since we had already outgrown the space that St. Thomas had so generously offered. This auction raised over $40,000. The event has continued to grow and be held each spring in new, more accommodating locations. We are now at a time when the school anticipates 350-400 guests in attendance aiming to raise approximately $80,000.

Do I need to pre-purchase tickets?

Yes. All tickets must be purchased in advance through the school website or by calling the CCS Development Office. Tickets are always sent home to each school family as soon as they become available and are available to parishioners after masses in the weeks prior to the auction.

How can I get an auction catalog?

In addition to our catalogs being sent home to all of our school families and at the local parishes after masses, the current year’s auction catalog is available for viewing on our website. A hard copy of the catalog can be mailed to you by contacting Ashley Nelson at 434-964-0400 x301 or Catalogs are made available each year, approximately one month prior the auction. Previous year’s catalogs are also available through the development office.

What if I want to bid on an item, but I cannot make it to the auction?

You can place an absentee bid online. Please see the online catalog for complete details.

What if I do not win the items I bid on, but I still want to help the school on auction night?

In addition to the silent and live auctions, there are opportunities to make donations to the Teacher Wish List. In the past, money has been raised for the school library, a new copy machine, playground equipment and a technology fund. The auctioneer will facilitate this by asking who is willing to contribute towards this valuable fund. All you need to do is raise your bidder paddle when the amount you choose to donate is announced. The donation will appear in your auction total when you check out at the end of the auction.

How can I help, make a donation, or purchase advertising in the auction catalog?

All contributions are most welcome and even the smallest donation is of great importance in making the auction a success.

  • Make a donation – Many items are needed for the auction. Of course, donated items or gift certificates from businesses are very important, but that is only the beginning!
  • Do you have a vacation home that you can offer for a week?
  • Can you perform a service: cook a gourmet meal, paint a room, babysit or teach someone how to understand their computer? The possibilities are endless!
  • Can you build or make something? Handmade items like quilts, clothes, furniture and toys make our auction unique and special.
  • Become a Corporate or Table Sponsor – Sponsors receive a variety of benefits including tickets to the auction, an ad in the catalog, your company name listed on the sponsor page of the catalog, your company name listed on each table at the auction, advertising on a continuous slideshow on auction night and a link to your website from our CCS website.
  • Purchase Advertising in our Auction Catalog- 1,000 copies of our catalog are distributed throughout the community. Advertising in our auction catalog can be great exposure for local businesses. Individuals can also purchase ads to show their support for our school or congratulate a loved one.
  • Donate your time- many hands are needed to make the auction a success! We need a representative from most families in the school to help in some way. Find out how you can help by contacting the Development Office.