LACEY, Wash. — For the second year in a row, generous friends, alumni and supporters helped Saint Martin’s University raise more than $1 million for student scholarships at the Saint Martin’s Gala. Held Saturday, Nov. 5, on the University campus in Lacey, this year’s Gala featured three-time James Beard-award winning TV personality chef Andrew Zimmern, host of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods franchise, and Ligia Karazawa, head chef of Eataly Brasil’s Brace restaurant in São Paulo, Brazil. With infectious good humor, spirited bantering and Portuguese-punctuated panache, the pair inspired more than 600 guests to raise a total of $1.1 million for students.
The black-tie celebration was the eleventh Gala, the University’s annual signature fund-raising event, and the first with an international theme: Brazil. As University President Roy F. Heynderickx explained, “This year’s Gala highlights just one of the many international relationships that Saint Martin’s has fostered over the years. Saint Martin’s has partnered with several international higher educational institutions from Japan, Korea, Shanghai and most recently Brazil … to broaden our students’ experiences and perspectives.”
At the start of the festivities, student volunteers – who were among the 200 members of Saint Martin’s staff, faculty and students serving as Gala volunteers – rattled and banged pots and pans to get the attention of the crowd before the celebrity hosts made their grand entrance into Marcus Pavilion. The pavilion had been transformed for the evening into a lush tropical dining space, complete with palm trees and a stage backdrop depicting a rushing waterfall.
Throughout the evening, Karazawa 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 music and dancing by the Seattle-based band Eduardo Mendonca and Show Brazil!; 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, Karazawa chose dishes inspired by the different culinary regions of Brazil, while taking advantage of the fresh seafood of the Pacific Northwest. The menu included crab crostini with tomato and avocado, hearts of palm salad, coconut seafood stew, grilled picanha with banana farofa, and, for dessert, traditional Brazilian cocoa brigadeiro. Each course was paired with specialty wines from Maryhill Winery.
Several guests had the opportunity to join the celebrity hosts on stage, including those whose winning bids landed them on barstools near the stage kitchen. Two lucky bidders also won the chance to work alongside Karazawa as her sous chefs and each received a chef’s coat signed by her and Zimmern. Before the main event, in a nod to Zimmern’s TV fame, guests also had an opportunity to sample such “bizarre foods” as raw geoduck, edible bugs, marinated beef hearts and char-broiled octopus. Zimmern later offered the live auction item to eat country-fried squirrel on stage with him to two guests.
As in years past, Saint Martin’s students played a major role in the event. Two recent alumni, political science alumna Crystal Maria ’13 and biology alumnus Dillon Linhart ’14, jointly testified to the amazing academic and community support they experienced while at Saint Martin’s. Both the first in their respective families to go to college, Dillon and Crystal expressed their gratitude for the tremendous financial assistance they each received through scholarships. “The scholarships that you provided helped me achieve my dreams,” said Linhart, “but the selflessness that you showed by donating to scholarships inspired me to have these dreams to begin with.”
Moved by their remarks, guests “raised their paddles” to make gifts toward the University’s “Feed-a-Mind” scholarship funds. This portion of the program alone raised more than $417,000.
“I continue to be amazed at the generosity of this community. Our students benefit now and know they carry forward the same responsibility to the next generation,” said President Heynderickx.
Earlier that day, Zimmern and Karazawa arrived on the Saint Martin’s campus and were met by a crowd of enthusiastic, sign-waving students, gathered in the University’s Trautman Student Union Building for a meet-and-greet event with 80 students. During the student event, the celebrity hosts shared stories of how they became chefs, why they believed food can unite different generations and different cultures, and what they loved most about travel. “Travel is transformative,” Zimmern told the students. “We are our best version of ourselves when we travel.”
The chairs for the 2016 Saint Martin’s Gala were Waite Dalrymple PE ’65, Kathy Lombardo and Matt Marcus ’94.
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. For more information about this year’s Gala, and to stay informed about next year’s Gala, visit our Gala website.
To view photos from the event, visit Saint Martin’s Facebook page.
SPECIAL SPONSOR THANK YOU
Saint Martin’s University thanks the following Gala Event Sponsors:
Presenting Sponsor: Bon Appétit
Print Sponsor: Capitol City Press
Coffee Sponsor: Caffé Vita
Gala Kitchen Sponsor: Rob Rice Homes
Broadcast Media Sponsor: KCTS9
Wine Sponsor: Maryhill Winery
Print Media Sponsor: Seattle Magazine
Shellfish Sponsor: Taylor Shellfish Farms
Gala Reception Sponsor: WSECU
Saint Martin Table Patrons: FORMA Construction; Saint Martin’s Trustees; Joe and Liz Williams
Saint Benedict Table Patrons: ACU/America’s Credit Union; Waite PE’65 and Patty Dalrymple; Jim ‘’72 and Melissa Guerci; Doug and Barb Hiatt ’78; Matt ’94 and Shelley Marcus; Terence ’62 and Mary Louise ’60 Monaghan
Saint Gertrude Table Sponsors: Armour Vickerman PLLC; Attila ’78 and Katalin Talaber; Charles Schwab & Company; Charlie’s Produce; Chicago Title Insurance Company; Conover Insurance; Dennis and Tedi Reynolds; Gordon and Kathy Beecher; Great Western Supply; Hanson Motors Subaru; Heritage Bank; John and Michelle Riel; Judy Weigand; Kathleen O’ Grady; Kathryn Fies; Ken Anderson/Jay Rudd/Bret Wilhelm; McGranahan Architects; Olympia Federal Savings; Port Blakely Companies/Taylor Shellfish Farms; Propel Insurance and Moss Adams, LLP; Providence Health and Services; Ragnar Wealth Management, LLC.; Rick and Ellen Middleton; SCJ Alliance; Simpson Door Company and Brandner Communications; South Puget Sound Community College; Sunset Air, Inc.;The Rants Group; The Saint Martin’s Alumni Association; Timberland Bank; TwinStar Credit Union; US Bank – Commercial Banking; Virgil Adams Real Estate; Waite PE’65 and Patty Dalrymple
Corporate Supporters: Matt ’94 and Shelley Marcus – Bizarre Food Sponsor; Anchor Bank – Celebrity Photo Sponsor; Conover Insurance – Celebrity Runway Sponsor; Maumasi Fire Arts – Green Room Sponsor; Morris-Sockle, PLLC – Silent Auction Sponsor; Chicago Title Insurance Company – Live Auction Bid Card Sponsor; Hanson Motors Subaru – Valet and Silent Bid Card Sponsor; Sunset Air, Inc. – Wine Glass Sponsor
Additional generous contributions were made by the following partners: Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters; Caffé Vita; Cedarbrook Lodge; Eat the Ball; Hampton Inn, Olympia; Lucky Eagle Casino, d.b.a Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation; Maumasi Fire Arts; McKinney Appliance Center; Ralph’s Thriftway; Ramada Olympia; RL Hotel, Olympia; Sunset Air, Inc.
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 14 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 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,243 undergraduate students and 277 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 350 more students to its extended campus at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
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For additional information:
Office of Institutional Advancement
Saint Martin’s University
Genevieve Canceko Chan
Vice President, Office of Marketing and Communications
Saint Martin’s University
360-438-4332; 360-593-5305; firstname.lastname@example.org