More than $2 million raised for student scholarships at the Saint Martin’s University Gala

The three special guests hosting the 2023 Gala.

LACEY, Wash. — More than $2 million was raised for student scholarships at the annual Saint Martin’s University Gala on November 4, 2023. Three celebrity guests hosted the event: Seattle-based chefs Tom Douglas and Roy Breiman, and Italian butcher Dario Cecchini. The black-tie affair has grown to be the premier culinary event in the South Sound region, featuring a live auction, a five-course gourmet dinner, and on-stage cooking demonstrations by award winning, celebrity chefs.

During the event, Interim Co-Presidents Roy Heynderickx, Ph.D., and Father Kilian Malvey, O.S.B., announced the For Every Saint comprehensive campaign has exceeded its goal of $100 million and will formally wrap up on June 30, 2024. Gifts made now through June 30 will continue to add to the historic campaign success and exceed the fundraising goal, all in support of Saint Martin’s students. When the comprehensive campaign was first publicly announced in 2020, gifts and pledges for student scholarships were made at each Gala. This support resulted in the 2021 Gala raising more than $2 million for the first time in its 11-year history.

“We are very pleased with the results from the Gala,” said Dr. Heynderickx. “The success of the event, and of the For Every Saint campaign, is due to our many generous benefactors who believe in the mission and educational opportunities provided by Saint Martin’s University.” 

To demonstrate the power of a Saint Martin’s educational experience, recent alumna Marissa Grab ’22 returned to serve as the alumni speaker for the event. “I am here to tell you all that Saint Martin’s University helped my dreams come true,” she shared during her speech. “I wanted to beat the odds [and graduate from college]; I just needed a little support to accomplish my dreams.” 

“Alumni like Marissa remind us of the important and life-changing work that happens at Saint Martin’s University each and every day with our students,” said Father Kilian. “Students come here to earn a degree but leave us learning more about themselves and discovering their calling in the world.” 

The Gala is a year-round event planned and executed by a number of individuals. The tri-chairs for the Saint Martin’s Gala are members of the University’s Board of Trustees who provide leadership and vision: Roy Breiman, Dan HS’68 and Carla O’Neill, and Tedi Reynolds ’71. The emeritus executive Gala chairs who helped found the signature event are Armandino Batali ’59, HD’16 and Rick HD’20 and Pam Panowicz. 

If you were unable to attend the Gala, or would like to make an additional gift, you may support student scholarships by making a gift online at 

For more information and 2023 Gala photos, visit The next Gala will be held on November 2, 2024. The celebrity chef host will be announced in the coming months. 

Thank you to our generous event sponsors:
Presenting Sponsor – Bon Appetit Management Company
Reception Sponsor- FORMA Construction
Print Media Sponsor – ShowCase Magazine
Broadcast Media Sponsor – KCTS9
Media Sponsor – South Sound Magazine
Wine Sponsor – Eola Hills
Print Sponsor – Capitol City Press
Live Auction Sponsor – WSECU
Celebrity Photo Sponsor – Aurora Lasik
Hospitality Sponsor – Columbia Hospitality
Wine Glass Sponsor – Sunset Air
Coffee Sponsor – Dancing Goats Coffee
Hors D’Oeurve Sponsor – Anthony’s Homeport and Anthony’s Hearthfire
Valet and Silent Auction Sponsor – Hanson Subaru
Raffle Sponsor – Panowicz Jewelers
Kitchen Sponsor – Rob Rice Homes

Thank you to our generous table sponsors:

Saint Martin Table
FORMA Construction
Joe Williams

Saint Benedict Table
Marcus Military Appreciation Table
Michelle & John Riel
Pat & Helen Rants
Tedi Reynolds '71
Waite Dalrymple & Perry Shea

Saint Gertrude Table
Armandino Batali '59, HD'15        
Christopher '80 and Lisa Thomsen
Farrelli’s Pizza
Great Western Supply
Heye Family
ImageSource Inc.
Lemon Family Dental
Lucky Eagle Casino
Mc Erl Dave Andres
MultiCare Health System, Inc.
Olympia Federal Savings
Olympia Orthopaedic Associates
Providence Swedish South Puget Sound
Puget Sound Energy
Rick & Pam Panowicz
Rockefeller Capital Management
SMU-Engineering Advisory Board
SMU-Institutional Advancement
SMU-School of Business Advisory Board
South Puget Sound Community College
Sunset Air
Tedi Reynolds '71
The Evergreen State College
Timberland Bank
Tovani Hart
TwinStar Credit Union
U.S. Bank

Saint Martin’s University is an independent coeducational university, with undergraduate and graduate offerings, located on a wooded campus of more than 380 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University empowers students to pursue a lifetime of learning and accomplishment through its 31 majors, 11 master’s programs, one doctorate program and seven certificate programs spanning the arts and sciences, business, counseling, education, engineering, nursing, and leadership. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.