Photo of Roy Yamaguchi cooking at Gala 2018
November 6, 2018

Saint Martin's announces that more than 600 friends and alumni helped raise over $1.3 million for student scholarships at Gala 2018, hosted by celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi.

LACEY, Wash. – On Nov. 3, more than 600 friends and alumni helped Saint Martin’s University raise over $1.3 million for student scholarships at the Saint Martin’s Gala, held on the University’s Lacey campus. This year’s Gala featured James Beard-award winning chef Roy Yamaguchi, known throughout the world for his beautiful restaurants, Hawai`i-inspired cuisine, four cookbooks and “Hawai`i Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi” on PBS. Yamaguchi’s cooking demonstrations and wonderful personality inspired the guests to raise over $1.3 million figure in support of student scholarships.

The black-tie celebration was the thirteenth Gala, the University’s annual signature fund-raising event, and this year’s edition came with a focus on an aspect of the University’s history. As Saint Martin’s University President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D., explained, “This year’s Gala celebrates the fact that, for over 50 years, students from the Pacific Islands, including Hawai’i, American Samoa, Guam and the Federated States of Micronesia, have helped guide and shape the culture of Saint Martin’s.”

As in years past, Saint Martin’s students played a major role in the event. Chantal Arevalo, who graduated in 2017 with a degree in secondary education, expressed her gratitude for the tremendous financial assistance that Saint Martin’s students have received through scholarships. “Standing among you are several Saint Martin's students,” said Arevalo. “These young women and men represent the thousands of students who have received scholarships at Saint Martin’s over the years. Because of generous donors like you, they were given the opportunity to transform their lives through a Saint Martin’s education.”

Moved by her remarks, guests raised more than $570,000 toward the University’s “Feed-a-Mind” scholarship funds. After “Feed-a-Mind,” inspired by Chantal’s speech and experiences, a special ask for diversity programs at Saint Martin’s raised more than $4,600 from 92 donors.

At the start of the festivities, Saint Martin’s students from the Hui ʻO Hawaiʻi Club performed a traditional dance before emcee R.C. Smith and Yamaguchi took the stage at Marcus Pavilion.

Throughout the evening, Yamaguchi offered culinary demonstrations of the five-course gourmet dinner at the stage kitchen, custom-built and donated by Rob Rice Homes. The evening’s program included a live auction and the much-anticipated “Feed-a-Mind” paddle-raise aimed at generating scholarship funds for Saint Martin’s students.

For the menu, Yamaguchi chose dishes featuring amazing seafood and tropical fruits like yuzu and passion fruit, with colors and flavors intended to delight the senses. The menu included hamachi crudo with yuzu kosho aioli and white balsamic prawn burrata crostini, yukuri ahi tataki and matcha soba salad and king crab fennel and arugula salad, cilantro ginger halibut with king oyster mushrooms and seared baby bok choy, slow braised beef short ribs marble potatoes and kale and multi-colored Swiss chard and, for dessert, taro coconut pound cake with lemon syrup, pistachio streusel, miso caramel, strawberry lilkoi gel and micro shiso. Each course was paired with specialty wines from the Gala’s wine sponsors, Maryhill Winery, Stottle Winery, Cadaretta and Donedei.

Several guests had the opportunity to join Yamaguchi on stage, including those whose winning bids landed them on barstools near the stage kitchen.

Earlier that day, Yamaguchi arrived at Trautman Student Union Building for a meet-and-greet event with students. He shared stories about his life and career and discussed how he got into cooking through his family and a home economics course he took at school. “I love cooking, so I’m fortunate that I can wake up every morning and do what I love to do,” Yamaguchi said. 

The chairs for the 2018 Saint Martin’s Gala were Armandino Batali ‘59, Rick Panowicz and Waite Dalrymple ‘65.

More than 240 members of the Saint Martin’s community—including students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends—served as volunteers for the Gala.

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.

To view photos from the event, visit Saint Martin’s Facebook page.

The chef and the theme for Gala 2019, set for Saturday, Nov. 2, will be announced in the future. For more information about Gala 2019, visit our Gala website,



Saint Martin’s University thanks the following Gala Event Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor: Bon Appétit

Celebrity Photo Sponsor: Anchor Bank

Gala Reception Sponsor: WSECU

Live Auction Sponsor: Chicago Title

Print Sponsor: Capitol City Press

Broadcast Media Sponsor: KCTS9

Hospitality Sponsor: Columbia Hospitality

Print Media Sponsor: Showcase Magazine

Runway Sponsor: Alaska Airlines

Coffee Sponsor: Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters

Green Room Sponsor: Selmer’s Home Furnishings

Gala Kitchen Sponsor: Rob Rice Homes

Silent Auction Sponsor: Hanson Subaru

Wine Sponsors: Cadaretta, Donedei, Maryhill Winery and Stottle Winery

Gala Store Sponsor: Aurora Lasik

Wineglass Sponsor: Sunset Air

Raffle Sponsor: Panowicz Jewelers

Hors d’oeuvres Sponsor: Anthony’s Homeport Olympia and Taylor Shellfish Farms

Saint Martin Table Sponsors: FORMA Construction and Joe and Liz Williams

Saint Benedict Table Sponsors: ACU/America’s Credit Union; Aurora Lasik; Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Inc.; MJR Development; Uptown Lounge; Armandino ’59 and Marilyn Batali; Waite ’65 and Patty Dalrymple; Dr. Jay and Carla Rudd (Aurora Lasik).

Saint Gertrude Table Sponsors: Ed and Becky Barton; Kathy and Gordon Beecher; Toni Christy; Waite ’65 and Patty Dalrymple; Debra Hodous and Pat Geiger; Max ’69 and Margi Hamed; Kathleen O’Grady; Rick and Pam Panowicz; Dennis ’69 and Tedi Reynolds ’71; John and Michele Riel; Diamond Technology Innovations/Jernigan Foundation; Heritage Bank; Moss Adams/Propel Insurance; Olympia Federal Savings; Panagiotu Pension Advisors; Providence Health and Service; The Rants Group (Pat and Helen Rants); South Puget Sound Community College; Sunset Air, Inc. (Brian and Valerie Fleutsch); Timberland Bank; TwinStar Credit Union; US Bank; Vigil Adams Real Estate; The Wave Carwash (Mike and Katie Opitz)

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 26 majors and ten graduate 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.

For additional information:

Office of Institutional Advancement
Saint Martin’s University

Genevieve Canceko Chan
Vice President, Office of Marketing and Communications

Kevin Hyde
Media Relations Manager