Let Your Light Shine

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Traveler’s Gala

Our annual auction, the Traveler’s Gala, is our biggest event of the year. It is our opportunity to celebrate the mission of St. James Lutheran Church and School. Funding a quality education requires more than just tuition; it requires the support and generosity of the whole community. Auction proceeds provide valuable support for the success of our mission from scholarships to education enhancements to technology.

2018 Traveler’s Gala

Let your light shine on Friday, March 9, 2018! Join us at our annual auction and gala at the Ivy Room (12 E. Ohio) for cocktails, dinner, and live and silent auctions. Dress to impress as we celebrate and raise money for St. James Lutheran School. Every child has a light that needs to shine and this is your opportunity to give them the chance!  Don’t miss out. Tickets will be available January, 2018.

Get Involved


We need the help of the community to make our auction a success! If you have an item to donate for the live or silent auction fill out a donation form online.


This year we will be “creating” our wine cellar with the help of Ezra’s Wine shop on Armitage.  Purchase a bottle of wine for the auction at the store for our wine collection to be auctioned off at the gala. Join us on February 8th for a Wine Tasting at Ezra’s ~ come taste wines and pick out your wine to donate for “Instant Wine Cellar”


Become a Patron by helping underwrite expenses of the event, so more of the auction proceeds will be able to support the educational needs of the school:

  • Maroon – $100 – $499
  • Gold – $500 – $999 – includes 1 ticket to the gala
  • Maverick – $1000-$1999 – includes 2 tickets to the gala
  • Corporate – $2500 + – includes a table of 10 to the gala

All Patrons of the St. James Lutheran Traveler’s Gala will be listed on:

  • Event Signage at the School and Church
  • Event Signage at the Gala
  • The Traveler’s Gala Page of the St. James Website

To become a Patron click here.

How Will You Let Your Light Shine?

On May 6, 2016 guests celebrated “the most exciting 158 years in education” in their Kentucky Derby attire while participating in live and silent auctions. Thank you to everyone who participated! With your help we raised $145,666 gross for the school, which will be used for educational enhancements, technology and scholarships.


Why is the annual auction called the Traveler's Gala?

Our annual auction is called The Traveler’s Gala after our namesake, St. James the Traveler.  Tradition claims that St. James took up his walking stick and a leather pouch and set out to share the good news of Jesus.  Fearlessly, he spoke of the coming of the Messiah until he was martyred for his faith.

Just as St. James ventured across the miles to spread the gospel, we, too, are constantly striving to move forward – to grown in our faith and service and to spread God’s joyful message of love and salvation “to the ends of the earth.”

How much does the Traveler’s Gala cost, and how do I reserve my spot?

The cost of the event is  $125 per person and $100 for alumni (limit two). Spots can be reserved by returning the response card  included in the invitation with payment to the office, or by going online to school.stjames-lutheran.org/auction beginning this spring.

Are there only expensive items up for bid at the auction?

No, there will be a wide variety of items to bid on, from themed baskets to gift cards to pricier vacations…and everything in between.

How does the instant wine cellar work?

The Instant Wine Cellar is a very popular auction item! We ask people in our community to donate bottles of wine to create a one of a kind collection, which will be sold during the live auction to the highest bidder. If you’re looking for a way to get involved in the Traveler’s Gala, consider donating a couple bottles of wine to the Instant Wine Cellar. Bottles should be a minimum of $25 and can be dropped off discretely in the office or at church on Sundays.

What does St. James do with the money raised at the Traveler’s Gala?

Funding a quality education requires more than just tuition; it requires the support and generosity of the whole community.  Auction proceeds provide valuable support for the success of our mission from scholarships to education enhancements to technology.

What's included in the ticket price?

In addition to helping support the school by participating in the live and silent auctions, guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, open bar and a sit-down dinner.

Is there a lot of pressure to buy?

This a fundraiser to aid the mission of St. James Lutheran School. There are many ways for you to support the event without feeling pressure to have to buy a lot. There are over seventy five items in a modest cost category and the opportunity to support scholarships through the Paddle Raise give you many options to stay within your budget. At the end of the day this is a celebration of the St. James community and the most important thing is that you join us for this joyful event.


My business or family would like to help underwrite the cost of the event. How can we do that?

We welcome you to participate in our patron program! Please visit our website, school.stjames-lutheran.org/auction.  It includes a breakdown of patron levels. Fulfillment cards are available in the office.


Does "gala" mean black tie?

No. Cocktail attire is appropriate.

Is the Traveler’s Gala open only to parents, staff and church members?

Absolutely not! We warmly welcome grandparents, friends and neighbors who want to come out for a fun night in support of St. James.

How do sign-up parties work?

No bidding wars here! During the Silent Auction portion of the gala you can sign-up for a spot in one of the limited space parties. These parties are donations and are not hosted by St. James. Sign-up early, the spots will go fast!

How do I get a tax receipt for items purchased or money donated at the event?

Our technology company, Auction and Event Solutions, will provide you with a receipt at check out.

Traveler’s Gala Photos – May 5, 2017 • Ivy Room

St. James Lutheran Church

2050 N. Fremont St., Chicago, IL, 60614
Phone: 773-525-4990  I  Fax: 773-326-3645
Sundays at 9:00 and 10:30 a.m.  

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