Last fall began what we hope will grow into a longstanding tradition at All Saints. The Soiree at All Saints is a fundraising event that allows parishioners and supporters of our community to come together for some great food, fellowship, and fun!
Last year’s event raised over $100,000 to go towards the needs of the church. The majority of those funds went to the handicap access project and some of the additional funds went directly to the school. It is a great feeling to have a fun event that is capable of supporting the community’s most urgent needs.
“We have a wonderful committee of volunteers for this event,” says Georgia Lyons, event co-chair. “All of our committee returned this year which I think is a great sign of the heart of this community. It is amazing to see our multigenerational committee working together in a collaborative way. We have so many talented members who are willing to come together and do the work to make this event a great one.”
Georgia serves as co-chair alongside Caroline Hugg, a longtime parishioner and parent of children who attend All Saints.
“This connection for the school and parish is just great,” Caroline says. “Since the church and the school are on different campuses, it can feel a little disconnected. Most schools and parishes aren’t set up that way. A lot of our school families do go to the parish but it can still be hard to see the greatness that is going on at the school. This beautiful event really just pulls everyone together.”
This year’s Soiree at All Saints will take place on Nov. 4. Cocktails in the fellowship hall start at 6 p.m., followed by dinner in the gym. After dinner, music and dancing will take place back in the fellowship hall. The band JK Reverie and the Republic will be providing the musical entertainment for the evening.
“We transform the gymnasium into a lovely dinner party setting,” Georgia says. “I think many people were surprised last year at the beautiful lighting, draping, and dinner settings that we set up to make it a really elegant event. We do work hard to put it together beautifully but it really is the people that make the event a good time.”
With a live auction for items and experiences such as jewelry, trips, tickets to sporting events, and special dinner parties, there is something for everyone here! This year, there will also be a raffle — anyone can purchase tickets, whether they attend the Soiree or not.
“Each year there is someone from the parish that we choose to be the Honorary Chairs of the event,” Georgia says. “This year, that is Woody and GiGi Berry. They have done so much for the parish over the years. They are something like the class favorites of the parish, so we are very excited to have them involved and honor them this way.”
“We are very honored to be chosen for this role, though GiGi and I both feel that there are others far more worthy than us,” Woody says.
The Berrys have been members of the parish since 1989 when their kids were young.
“We were busy parents and I was traveling a lot for my restaurant businesses,” Woody says. “We sat in the pews each week and wrote a check to the parish. But I really felt God nudging me for many years to be more involved. When I retired, I really got involved then. I have been a part of the Men’s Club and the Knights of Columbus. GiGi has been very involved in the All Saints Women’s Association and we have both worked hard on the Fall Festivals.
“Volunteering has had wonderful impacts on our lives,” he adds. “We have gotten so much out of it beyond a place to go to church. We have been supported and cared for through various trials in our lives and we are grateful to give back to this community. Now we have several children who are members here, with several of our grandchildren attending the school as well.”
Woody supported the Soiree last year the same way he supports everything else — through food! Woody B’s BBQ donated their famous smoked salmon for the silent auction, but it was requested that he put it in the live auction. He was unsure of how successful that might be — but before he knew it, people were bidding hundreds of dollars for his salmon!
“I was just laughing because the live auction has $4,000 golf trips and here people are bidding hundreds of dollars on a $125 piece of fish,” Woody says. “When we got to $1,000 and there were still three hands up bidding on the fish! So I told them that they would each get a fish for $1,000 each. “Ultimately, I think that it is a microcosm view of the heart of this church,” he says. “They are so giving, supportive and generous. Whether someone volunteers an hour a week or 40 hours a week, or whether they write a big or small check, everything adds up to make big differences in our community. It is a wonderful thing to be a part of.”
“Ultimately, what this event is about is community,” Georgia says. “We are one big community between the church and the school. We are very diverse in age, backgrounds, and stages of life, but we are all still one. The fundraising aspect of this is good and important, but it is secondary to the community and fellowship that we are looking to bring together here.”
Be sure to mark your calendars for the Soiree at All Saints on Nov. 4!
Tickets for the Raffle will be available after all Masses or online. Watch your email for links. Sponsorships and tickets will also be available online soon. Watch the Bulletin and Flocknote email.