Tuesday, March 20 , 2018, 5:45 am | Overcast 52º


Marymount Supporters Sparkle at ‘Jewel of the Riviera’ Auction Gala

Dazzling evening of dining, auctions and dancing raises more than $320,000 for the school

Raindrops fell like diamonds on the brilliantly lit oceanfront of Montecito’s Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club on St. Patrick’s Day as guests of Marymount of Santa Barbara’s Jewel of the Riviera Auction Gala enjoyed a dazzling evening of dining, silent and live auctions, and dancing.

Head of School Andrew Wooden greeted revelers and was serenaded by the more than 275 guests with “Happy Birthday.” Marymount supporters, including 25 sponsors, enjoyed bidding on 17 live auction items, 25 Star Silent items and more than 150 online auction items in a record-setting fundraiser for the school.

Fast-talking auctioneer Joe Rexin was assisted by Marymount parents Travis Twining, Arick Fuller, Paul Medel and Tom Brennan. Todd and Melanie Drevos’ offer to host a “Roaring Twenties Dinner Party” for 40 couples at their historic Montecito estate, Ravenscroft, was a highly sought-after item. The Drevos’ event will include cocktails, music and food prepared by Chef Edie Robertson.

Jack Byers, former Santa Barbara Yacht Club commodore, offered “Sushi on the Serengeti,” a sunset harbor cruise for 20 couples also hosted by Koji and Stacy Nomura and Susan and Jeff Jordano. Longtime Marymount supporters Ralph and Melissa Iannelli enjoyed the festivities and offered a surprise trip to New York City in addition to pledging support for Marymount’s “Safe, Secure, and Connected” initiative to enhance classroom technology and implement new media.

Auction chair Jenny Scholl was pleased that the Jewel of the Riviera event exceeded expectations for fun and fundraising, and she was honored to announce another gracious gift to the “Safe, Secure, and Connected” initiative from Steve and Tina Multin. The crowd cheered as development director Andrea McFarling reported preliminary results showing the auction gala had raised more than $320,000 for Marymount.

The Mosher Foundation, represented by Yvette and Jeff Giller, crowned the evening by announcing its strong endorsement of Marymount’s “Vision 2020: Path to Preparation” with a $55,000 grant funding faculty professional development, curriculum development and state-of-the-art technology in the classrooms.

Marymount development director Andrea McFarling, left, and auction chair Jenny Scholl.
Marymount development director Andrea McFarling, left, and auction chair Jenny Scholl dazzle at the gala. (Photos by Priscilla photo photo)

Other Marymount supporters making significant donations to the auction gala were Deborah Bettencourt and Scott Stefan, Kim and Chip Blankenhorn, Andy and Kim Busch, Marymount Board of Trustees President Hilary Doubleday and her husband Ned, Lynda.com, McCoy Construction, Arlene Montesano, Keith and Kay Schofield, Vijay and Megan Sharma, Dsara and Joe Storment, and Tuan Truong. Vivienne and Michael Ninness produced multimedia presentations that punctuated the evening. Noel Johnson and her team of volunteers produced individual photo charms of each student for party favors.

While the auction benefits the jewels of Marymount — the students — the gems of the evening were the members of the Auction Committee, including Shannon Benedict, Deborah Bettencourt, Kim Blankenhorn, CeCe Borchardt, Adrienne and Leon Carrere, Cheryl Cohen, Cynthia Copeland, Justine Forgea, Heidi Frost, Kari Ann Gerlach, Vickie Gonzales, Nikki Greene, Nina Gustason, Jennifer Harris, Susan Henrichs, Barbara Hrach, Diane Hughes, Noel Johnson, Susan Jordano, Carrie Linden, Diane Maloy, Jennifer McCoy, Andrea McFarling, Corinne Medel, Tina Multin, Terri Nisich, Vivienne Ninness, Kamala Parris, Shawna Robins, Pam Sanchez, Holly Sherwin, Sandy Shields and Linda Vannier.

Marymount is an independent coeducational school serving junior kindergarten through eighth grade. Its picturesque 10-acre campus is securely nestled on the Santa Barbara Riviera. For nearly 75 years, Marymount has prepared young people for academic success in high school and college, while laying the foundation for life-long character, achievement and love of learning.

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— Andrea McFarling is director of development for Marymount of Santa Barbara.

Marymount teachers Vonnie Orth and Alexa Ratcliffe display a painting by alumna and artist Meredith Brooks Abbott, class of 1956, during the gala's live auction.
Marymount teachers Vonnie Orth and Alexa Ratcliffe display a painting by alumna and artist Meredith Brooks Abbott, class of 1956, during the gala’s live auction. (Photos by Priscilla photo)

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