Jimmy Litscher was one of several St. Thomas More teachers to appear in the Fund the Future Friday video. (Submitted photo)
St. Thomas More High School has announced the school’s virtual auction event and one-day online fundraising campaign has raised more than $147,000 to support school operations and student scholarships.
Supported by a committee of volunteers, the St. Thomas More Auction represents the school’s largest annual fundraising event. Under normal circumstances, this event welcomes more than 400 alumni, parents, and community members to the school for dinner, drinks, and fellowship as they bid on items and experiences in our silent and live auctions. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, St. Thomas More hosted this year’s auction virtually. Bidding on items ran from March 19 to March 25, and the event concluded with Fund the Future Friday on March 26.
“While we were disappointed that we were not able to celebrate in person, it was exciting to share our unique auction experience with even more people through our virtual format,” said Baird Senior Advisory Solutions Consultant Tracey Killoran, who serves on the school’s board of directors and co-chairs the auction committee with fellow parent and Milwaukee Admirals President Jon Greenberg. “By holding the auction virtually, alumni and other supporters across the country could participate from the safety of their own homes, bid on auction items, watch our Fund the Future Friday videos, and celebrate the 150-year legacy of St. Thomas More.”
In this virtual format, rather than sponsoring or advertising at the event, St. Thomas More supporters purchased spaces, including streets/properties, railroads, utilities, Go, Free Parking, Go to Jail, and more, on the official MOREopoly game board. Supporters also bought game tokens, Community Chest or Chance cards, hotels, and houses.
“I am overwhelmed with the support MOREopoly received from our extended community,” said Events Coordinator Dan Steffes. “We have many longtime, annual supporters, but we also have new ones that join us each year. That was what made MOREopoly so special—it was a wonderful mix of longtime supporters and brand-new ones. It was very representative of the STM family’s past, present, and future.”
In the event’s traditional, in-person format, after the dinner program, St. Thomas More asks guests to raise their paddles to contribute to the school’s Fund the Future campaign. All donations to this campaign fund scholarships for St. Thomas More students.
As the school did in 2020, this year’s Fund the Future campaign transformed into a one-day virtual fundraiser driven by video testimonials from St. Thomas More teachers, staff, and administrators. Branded “Fund the Future Friday,” the campaign shared short video messages throughout the day from Steffes; outgoing president Mary McIntosh and incoming president John Hoch; principal Nicholas Kelly; the Killoran Family; St. Thomas More students; and several St. Thomas More teachers on the school’s YouTube channel and other social media pages.
In each video, these St. Thomas More stakeholders explained why a Catholic education should be accessible for all and how each contribution on Fund the Future Friday can make a difference in the lives of St. Thomas More students.
“Your contribution to Fund the Future ensures future generations will receive a college preparatory, faith-filled education,” Killoran explained in her video, which she recorded with her husband, Brian, who is a current STM science teacher and will be moving into the Athletic Director position this spring, and her daughters Ellen and Julia. “You also support the outstanding teachers that truly make St. Thomas More a special place.”
To learn more about MOREopoly, visit tmore.org/2021auction.