Record-Breaking $3 million Raised for Student Scholarships at the Saint Martin’s Gala with Celebrity Chef Anne Burrell

Photo of Chef Anne Burrell at Gala 2022

LACEY, Wash. - A record-breaking $3 million was raised for student scholarships at the annual Saint Martin’s University Gala on November 5. More than 600 alumni and friends came to the Lacey campus to see Celebrity Chef Anne Burrell demo on stage the exquisite Italian five-course, wine-paired menu, along with a lively and generous live auction, and an after party with the Seattle-based band, Mr. Pink.

The Saint Martin’s Gala is the University’s annual black-tie scholarship fundraiser. In 2022, the Gala was in its 16th year, and was the first for Dr. Jennifer Bonds-Raacke as she began her tenure as the 11th president. 

“We are grateful to everyone who attended the Saint Martin’s Gala, which was a record-breaking fundraiser that will enable us to offer scholarships to many of our students,” said President Bonds-Raacke. “These scholarships play a major role in helping our students pursue their aspirations, earn their degrees and contribute their talents to our community.” 

We welcomed back to campus alumna Tracey Porter ’20, along with her twin brother Tony ’20 and younger sister Nicole ’21, to share her story as our alumni speaker. “Our family knew a college education for the three of us would be beyond our reach, but we received enough scholarships to make our educational dreams a reality,” shared Porter. “I know we were brought to Saint Martin’s for a reason, and I know this university will continue to support students and families just like ours.” 

Celebrity Chef Anne Burrell is the hugely popular and fan-favorite host of Worst Cooks in America, Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition and the new Food Network series Vegas Chef Prize Fight. Burrell is an industry veteran and passionate teacher who prides herself on creating rustic Italian dishes that celebrate simple and pure ingredients. 

“I am thrilled to have been the chef for this year’s Gala! The love in this room is palpable.” said Burrell. “Thank you everyone who came, who donated, and who made this event so joyful.” 

The chairs for the Saint Martin’s Gala are Pat and Helen Rants, Jay and Carla Rudd, and Tedi Reynolds ’71. The emeritus executive Gala chairs 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 can still support student scholarships by making a gift online at

To view photos from the event, visit

Next year’s Gala will be held on Nov. 4, 2023. The format and celebrity host will be announced in the coming months. For more information, visit

Thank you to our event sponsors! 

Abbot's Table Sponsor 

Pho Bac Restaurant 

After Party Sponsor 

Eola Hills 

Band Sponsor 

Olympia Federal Savings 

Broadcast Media Sponsor 


Celebrity Photo Sponsor 

Aurora Lasik 

Chocolate Sponsor 

Coco Sherrie  

Coffee & Green Room Sponsor 

Dancing Goats Coffee 

Gala Reception Sponsor 


Hors D' Oeuvre Sponsor  

Anthony's Homefront Restaurant and Hearthfire Grill 

Hospitality Sponsor 

Columbia Hospitality 

Kitchen Sponsor 

Rob Rice Homes 

Live Auction Sponsor 

Chicago Title - Thurston County 

Media Sponsor 

South Sound Magazine 

Print Media Sponsor 

Showcase Magazine 

Print Sponsor  

Capitol City Press 

Presenting Sponsor 

Bon Appetit Management Co. 

Raffle Sponsor 

Panowicz Jewelers 

Specialty Tattoo Sponsor  

Lucky No. 3 Tattoo Company 

Super Silent Auction and 
Valet Sponsor 

Hanson Subaru 

Wine Glass Sponsor 

Sunset Air, Inc. 

Wine Sponsor 

Eola Hills 
Marchesi Antinori  

Table Sponsors 
St. Martin’s Table Sponsors: 
FORMA Construction 
Joe HD’21 & Liz Williams 
MJR Development 
St. Benedict's Table Sponsors:   
Armandino Batali ’59, HD’15 
John & Michelle Riel 
Kathy & Gordon Beecher 
Tedi Reynolds ’71/Mark Templeton ’69 
The Rants Group 
Toni Christy ’04, MBA ’06 / Lashgasms 
Waite ’65 & Patty Dalrymple 
St. Gertrude's Table Sponsor:  
Chris ’80 & Lisa Thomsen 
David Slotwinski & Roselyn Marcus 
Diamond Technology Innovations / Jernigan Foundation 
Evergreen State College 
Great Western Supply 
Heritage Bank 
Heye Family 
Kathleen O’Grady 
Lemon Family Dental 
MultiCare Capital Medical Center 
Olympia Orthopaedic Associates 
Perry & Susan Shea 
Providence Swedish 
Puget Sound Energy 
Rockefeller Capital Management/Bloom Williams Group 
South Sound Behavioral Hospital 
Sunset Air, Inc. 
Teri Woo, Director of Nursing 
Timberland Bank 
Tovani Hart 
TwinStar Credit Union 
U.S. Bank 
Virgil Adams Real Estate 
Additional Sponsors:  
ImageSource, INC 
Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel 
South Puget Sound Community College 
Squaxin Island Tribe 
Moss Adams, LLP 

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 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 prepares students for successful lives through its 29 majors, 11 master’s programs, one doctorate program, and five certificate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing, and engineering. 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.