It’s almost that time of year- time for tuxedo’s and gowns, cocktail dresses and well shined shoes. It’s one of the most anticipated dates on the St. Thomas High School calendar, it’s time for the 2019 Auction & Gala. Each year, dedicated parents, staff, and alumni work together to collect auction items, gather for committee meetings, and transform the school halls into lavish ballrooms and dining rooms.

On Saturday, November 9, the tradition continues, and this year’s theme is “An Evening in Paris.” The theme stemmed from the rich French history of the Basilian fathers, and their mission of promoting a Catholic education that began almost 200 years ago. This year, St. Thomas will be honoring the “Office of the President” and pay tribute to our current and past Basilian presidents including, Rev. Jim Murphy, Very Rev. Kevin Storey, and Rev. Ronald Schwenzer.

“We are very excited for this year’s auction. Our auction chairs have been working hard to make the event a memorable success,” said Catherine Chandler, Director of Special Events and Volunteer Coordination. Chandler adds, “It is amazing to see our community come together to honor both current and past presidents of our school.”

Adding a special touch to this year’s auction, St. Thomas High School social studies teacher, Philip Gensheimer, contributed by assembling Eiffel towers for the event. A skilled carpenter and woodworking hobbyist, Mr. Gensheimer often assists with the construction needs for stage productions within the Fine Arts department.

“When I heard about the auction theme, I decided it would be a fun project to create an Eiffel Tower using plywood and the school’s new laser cutting machine,” said Gensheimer. The process of using the laser cutter to make the Eiffel Tower included using dedicated software, uploading a graphics file, and aligning it within the machine to indicate where to etch and cut each intricate piece of the famed architectural triumph.

The auction committee was so impressed with Gensheimer’s work on the Eiffel Tower as well as his willingness to contribute to the event, they have asked him to create several to be used as decorations for the big event. In addition to the Eiffel Towers playing an essential role in the event, this effort is an example of the community involvement in the success of any St. Thomas endeavor. Together we can climb to amazing heights.

Chandler adds, “It takes a Parisian village of parents, priests, alumni and staff to support and lead the current and future young men of St. Thomas in Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge.”

To learn more about this year’s auction, visit: