I think it’s important to keep in mind that each year, we only have one chance to enjoy Gala to the fullest. Having learned a lot from past events, I want to share some tips with you that will help you make the most of Gala.
- Wear what you want to wear. Gentlemen, if you feel like a penguin when you wear a tux, don’t be afraid to come in slacks and a sport jacket. That being said, if you enjoy dressing like James Bond, break out the tux and don’t forget your Rolex! Ladies, everyone has that special dress they love. This is your night to wear that dress. And if you don’t have that special dress, this is your chance to buy one.
- Bring the right shoes. Personally, I have three pairs of “the right shoes.” I start the night in heels that look great with my dress. I also like to have a second, more comfortable (i.e., lower) pair of heels to turn to after a few hours. And if you catch a glimpse of me at around midnight, you’ll see me in a third pair of shoes: flip-flops. Ladies, my point here is that we don’t have to be barefoot at the end of the night!
- Arrive early. Come early and enjoy the company of people you never see. We all know that when the bidding starts and the dancing begins, it will be hard to get a word in edge wise and bid.
- Read the Gala Live Auction lots in advance. There are so many choices this year, from family vacations to themed dinners. In the heat of the bidding, some descriptions can be a bit complicated. For example, it might be difficult to fully understand what you would win with lot #27 if you were reading its description for the first time during the auction!
- Bid as a team. By doing so, you’ll gain power in the room by pooling your resources AND drive bidding higher- earning more money for our school. Some of the best lots this year are trips and themed dinners that can be shared between multiple families. For example, the stay in Tahoe accommodates up to 12. Save the blood, sweat, tears, and money you would lose trying to secure it on your own and find a few other families to team up with. Let us know in advance with whom you’ll be bidding, and we’ll divide the cost of the lot evenly in the end.
- Rather than enacting a Charlie Chaplin comedy of your own while you try to park in downtown San Jose, locate parking in advance. Valet parking is only available to guests of the Fairmont and those who have purchased a Coco Chanel table.
- Remember that Gala isn’t just about winning great lots. What really makes this night special is getting to help raise what is needed to give our students a great education. A good way to give back is by bidding on Fund-a-Need. You’ll get to maximize your spending because it is 100% tax deductible, while you maximize funds raised for the school- many companies offer corporate matching.
- Encourage all the families in your class to come. You need friends to enjoy Gala, and many would say you also need champagne. If you get your whole class to attend, you’ll actually have both. Members of classes that are 100% represented will be treated to a glass of champagne during dinner.
- Come with cash. You will be able to enjoy a martini cocktail complimentary of the Gala Committee, but to enjoy other drinks you will need cash.
- Book a room in the Fairmont. Dance, drink, and be merry all through the night, and when you’re done, simply retire to your room upstairs. You can reach the Fairmont San Jose Reservations Department at 1-800-346-5550.
Of course, Gala is your night. If you want to wing every last detail, we won’t judge you for it! That being said, if you take my tips to heart, I promise you’ll have a ball.
Not coming to Gala? Complete an absentee bidding form and bring it to advancement before March 18!