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IWA Gala and Auction is a Success

The 2021 Incarnate Word Academy Gala and Auction is "in the books."

The event raised $480,000, a record for the school. The money will go to providing for all aspects of education at IWA, including classroom needs, teacher salaries, fine arts supplies and more. The evenings Paddles Up appeal generated $95,000 which will be used for scholarships and financial aid.

"The evening was a tremendous success!" said Sister Lauren Beck, C.V.I., president of Incarnate Word Academy. "I am so very grateful to our underwriters, our sponsors and all who donated to our school. We cannot do what we do without their support."

Co-chaired by Tracy and Jim Fish and Christi and Dean Quinn (shown above), and with a theme of "Love is All You Need: REMIX," the gala and auction honored The Very Reverend Brendan J. Cahill, bishop of the diocese of Victoria, Texas. He was the recipient of the Sister Agatha Sheehan Award, which recognizes an individual who has made a commitment to and impact on Catholic education. Bishop Cahill has been a tireless advocate for Catholic education over the course of his career, regularly donating to the cause of Catholic education and supporting events at Catholic schools. The theme noted both Cahill's love for his vocation as well as a nod to the fact that the gala for 2020 had to be reimagined as an online event due to the pandemic.

"IWA holds a special place in my heart and I was honored to co-chair the gala with Tracy Fish," said Christi Quinn. "It was so gratifying to see the generous response from everyone involved. It was also a really fun night and a huge success, and I am deeply grateful to all."

The groovy 1960s vibe included a performance by members of the Incarnate Word Academy Choir and members of the St. Thomas Singers, who regaled the crowd with renditions of "Mockingbird" and "All You Need is Love," along with a stirring performance of "Praised Be the Incarnate Word" to close the evening.

Held at the Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel, the evening offered an incredible array of items for guests to bid on during the live auction, including a VIP experience at the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament, which sold for more than $20,000 and a rooftop dinner with Sister Lauren and IWA Athletic Director Rick Perez, which sold for $10,500. Silent auction items featured dinners at Houston restaurants, sporting goods and sports memorabilia, handmade quilts, jewelry and more.

Months in the planning, the event drew a crowd of nearly 300 IWA families, supporters and friends. 

IWA's Advancement office is already working on plans for the 2022 IWA Gala and Auction.