Solebury School Auction 101

What is the Annual Auction (also called the Gala)?
The Gala is an exciting evening of dinner, raffles and auctions to benefit Solebury School. Tickets are $125 each and include cocktails/drinks, passed hors d’oeuves, live music, and seated dinner. In addition to raising funds to enhance the Solebury School experience for all students, the evening is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with fellow parents, faculty, and members of the Solebury community. Have fun meeting new people or catching up with old friends!

Why do we have the Auction?
Hosted by the Home and School Association and made possible by the hard work and support of parents, faculty, students, alumni and friends of Solebury School, the annual auction is our school’s largest fundraising event. Past auction proceeds have supported educational programming, student activities, facility enhancements, and more! All of our energy in supporting the school is channeled into this one, special event. We do this because it provides critical support for our students’ experience – funds can help with unforeseen expenses. All proceeds go directly to the bottom line and are put immediately into action. For example, this year proceeds were used to purchase a new ice machine for athletics and new chairs for the dining hall (as well as replenish the Home & School Fund). Remember, it’s a great evening for a great cause.

When and Where?
This year our Disco-themed Gala will be held at the Lambertville Station on Friday, May 3, 2019 from 7:00-11:00 PM.

Who attends the Gala?
Invitations are mailed to all current parents, alumni, parents of alumni, staff, and friends of Solebury School, but all are welcome to attend. You are welcome to invite your friends and family!

What do I wear to the Gala?
Generally, cocktail attire is most appropriate. This year’s theme is “Friday Night Fever” and we are encouraging people to dress in disco inspired clothing.

What do you do at the Auction?
Our Auction begins with cocktails, passed hors d’oeuvres and our Silent Auction and raffles. We then gather for a sit down dinner and live auction and paddle call.
What is a silent auction?
Many interesting items are auctioned off to raise funds for Solebury School. The items are displayed in the cocktail reception area. We typically have around 80 packages, ranging from gift cards to local restaurants to high-end alcohol baskets. Items are donated by local businesses, current parents, board members, and friends of Solebury. Bid numbers are assigned to each guest/couple; the bid number enables you to bid anonymously.

What is the Live Auction?
During the Live Auction a professional auctioneer announces each of our approximately ten items. These items are exciting and some are of great value and there is always competition for them. The Live Auction takes place during dinner and is always lots of fun! Bids are placed during the Live Auction by raising your bid paddle (which you will receive during check in when you arrive that evening). An example of some of our past Live Auction items are a weeklong stay at any Wyndham Vacation Resort, a catered dinner party, amazing Broadway tickets, and our Solebury Wine Cellar. You can bid on the items yourself or get together with a group to win a great item/experience!

What is the 50/50 Raffle?
We sell three tickets for $25. One winner will be drawn during the dinner portion of our event and will receive 50% of all raffle tickets sold. The more tickets sold the larger the prize! Last year the winner took home nearly $700.

What is the Best of Live drawing?
We sell only 100 tickets for a chance to win your favorite Live Auction item. Chances are only $100 each. The winner need not be present so this is a great way to support our event even if you cannot attend. The winning ticket is announced before the Live Auction begins, and that item is withdrawn from the Live Auction. You can buy more than one ticket to increase your odds of winning!

What are the Raffle Baskets?
New for 2019, we are introducing Raffle Baskets! Tickets are purchased in sheets of 25 for $25. We will have multi-sheet discounts.  We plan to have about 25 raffle baskets; each basket will have a vase in front of it for tickets. Place your ticket(s) into the vase of the basket that you wish to win. Increase your chance of winning by placing multiple tickets into the vase.

What is the Paddle Call (aka The Special Appeal)?
Each year during the auction we seek donations to fund a specific program or project. Past Paddle Calls have been used to fund a new lighting system for the Barn Theater and the Above & Beyond Endowed Award for Faculty and Staff. The auctioneer goes through a series of levels at descending dollar amounts. If you’d like to donate, simply raise your paddle and your bidding number will be recorded and will appear on your auction receipt.

What is for dinner?
We have a sit down dinner that will be served in the ballroom at Lambertville Station. This year there is a choice of three different meals, including a vegetarian entrée. Choices this year are Tuscan chicken, Atlantic salmon or roasted stuffed eggplant. Your meal choice must be chosen when you purchase your tickets. Please communicate any allergies in advance via email at

Who will I sit with at dinner?
When you RSVP please specify your seating preferences. You can name specific people or you can say “seat with other 10th grade parents.” If nothing is specified we usually seat people with other parents. Don’t worry about not knowing people. Everyone in the room is connected to Solebury School!
Why do you keep asking me for wine?

The Solebury School Wine Cellar is a perennial Live Auction Item, and one of the most beloved. Throughout the year we ask our current parents to donate bottles of wine, which are collected and stored until the night of the auction, when they become the very desirable “Solebury Cellar” – available to purchase during the Live Auction. 

How can I help with the Auction?
We always need help with this amazing event. A great place to start is to sponsor the auction (prices  start at $150 and are tax deductible). Auction catalog advertising is also available, starting at $100. More than anything else we need you to attend! We are also looking for donations of fantastic items for both the Silent and Live auctions. Almost any new item can be donated – check out our Wishlist for ideas. 

I have more questions – who do I contact?
Feel free to email our Auction Chair, Karen Waldon P’19 at or Parent Relations Manager Christine Thiel at