Gala FAQ

What is the Whitby Gala all about and Where will it take place?

The Gala is our school's largest annual fundraising event. Money raised at the Gala helps offset the costs of providing high quality programs and educating each child at Whitby School. The 2020 Whitby School Masquerade Gala will be held at Loading Dock Stamford, CT on Saturday March 7th from 6pm. The space is a beautiful open flowing canvas for our celebration with delicious menu items catered by Abigail Kirsch along with a full bar. There’s ample parking with Valet parking service available.

How does the school raise money at the Gala?

Thanks to the generosity of our local community, businesses and our Whitby families we are able to offer interesting and desirable items for you to bid which last year helped Whitby School raise significant funds for our ongoing plans to upgrade and improve aspects of the Whitby School this year and beyond. In years past, money raised at the Gala has helped us build the MakerSpace, provide technology upgrades, a full remodel of the Stepping Stones movement room, and curriculum enhancements as well as provide financial aid for tuition.

Is it true that the tuition we pay does not cover the full cost of our child's education?

Yes, it's true for Whitby and the majority of independent schools. The money raised at the Gala helps bridge the gap between expenses covered by tuition and the cost of providing each student an exceptional Whitby School education. Without the money raised at the Gala, tuition for each student would cost more.

Is the Gala FUN?

The gala is a super fun night out! Don’t take our word for it. Ask around or even better, avoid FOMO (fear of missing out) and come party with us to see for yourself. Whether you are a new Whitby School parent, or a long time member of the Whitby School family, The Whitby Gala is hands down a great night out for a good cause with friends old and new!

What does everyone DO at the Gala?

We party! We enjoy an amazing time together with amazing food and adult beverages. We party and dance to great music provided by bands and DJs. And of course we help raise money for the school in interesting and fun ways with auctions, games like 'Heads and Tails", and 50:50 Raffle. We get to bid on a wide variety of silent auction items and with the help of a real live auctioneer we get to bid on incredible experiences in the Live auction as we playfully battle it out with other parents.

How do we RSVP and what’s the price to attend?

Every Whitby School family will receive a digital invitation and/or printed invitation in the mail and we have our new gala website, The website and invitation tells you everything you need to know including the event theme, the costs per person to attend, donation and sponsorship opportunities plus more. We heard you and we’ve improved the pricing! This year ticket prices have been significantly reduced. Individual tickets are $195 per person or for the best value and maximum fun, buy a Chances Are Bundle. For an extra $50 you get a chance to play & win in the fun raffle giveaways. And of course the ticket price includes everything - entertainment, food, full bar, beverages, entertainment, dancing, valet parking and more!Visit to RSVP online and purchase tickets, tables and sponsorship opportunities

What is the theme for the Gala?

Every year the Gala has a new theme. This year's theme was decided by YOU. It's a Masquerade ball so grab a mask and dress to impress; Cocktail, Evening, Black-tie. It's your choice! This party is all about having a blast with your friends so glam it up, wear your best (& comfiest) dancing shoes and be ready to party. Visit to see more and get your tickets.

Do Whitby School teachers and staff come to the Gala?

Absolutely! It wouldn’t be Gala without our teachers and staff. The school covers the ticket cost for each teacher so that all faculty can attend. When you RSVP, parents also have an opportunity to contribute to the cost of teachers' tickets if they want, which in turn helps the school.

Are students invited to the Gala?

Nope :) The Whitby Gala is a kid-free-zone. It is a fun night out and an adults-only party.

What should I wear to this event?

Dress to impress…. It’s an opportunity to dress up as much as you like and who doesn’t love to dress up? Depending on the theme there may be a fashion style associated with the Gala but don’t worry we’ll let you know well in advance so you can prepare. Regardless of the theme, your favorite attire will be just perfect.

Is there assigned seating for dinner?

When purchasing your tickets you can indicate who you’d like to sit with. We do our best to make seating assignments work for all. Whether it’s assigned seating or not, everyone gets to spend the evening mingling and moving about throughout the night.

I have a dietary restriction. What should I do to request an alternate meal?

If you require an alternate meal please inform your server at the event. Please note that due to the number of people attending the event, we can only provide vegetarian/vegan meals as alternate options.

Is there an auction and how will we know what the auction items are?

Yes. The auction catalog for silent and live auction items will be available online at a few days prior to the event and some silent auction items will be displayed at the gala venue. An email reminder and flyer will also be sent out a week before the event. In the catalog you will find all of the silent and live auction items. Additionally you’ll be able to see the schedule of events for the evening and view details from supporters of our school on the website.

Do I have to buy something at the Gala?

You are not required to buy anything at the event. However, all proceeds that are raised at the Gala, benefit Whitby School and our students. The auction team makes sure there are items up for auction at various price points - low, medium, and high! So just contribute as your heart leads you. At the very least, be sure to come out for a fun night out with the Whitby School family

What types of items are typically auctioned off?

There is something for everyone but think Experiences, Experiences, Experiences! There are gift certificates to restaurants all over Fairfield County, Westchester County and NYC. There are spa services for people who like to be pampered! There are kid specific experiences, toys and games! There are vacation trips, tickets to sporting events and other family outings! So many fun experiences to bid on. Have your child be head of school for a day, or name the school driveway! You can even bid on front row, reserved and named seats at all Whitby School performances. And there are teacher treats too! Whitby School Teachers generously donate fun experiences that teachers and students can do together. Of all the auction items, these are children's favorites. The experiences really are priceless!

How does the school get items to auction off at the Gala?

We have a great Auction Committee team that are busy contacting businesses near and far BUT they always need help! The success of the Whitby School Gala depends in part on the items we are able to acquire. Imagine the amazing auction we will enjoy if every Whitby School family acquires just ONE donated item! If you’re interested and willing to help you can sign up online at or speak with our Auction Chair Aya DeSimone, Development Coordinator Quentin Ball or Whitby School Parent Association chairperson Jennie Adams. For more details on the donation acquisition process. Donation forms are available HERE. It is super easy and we can help you if you need guidance.

Silent Auction and Live Auction

At the Gala, we have both a silent auction and a live auction. For the silent auction, the items up for auction will be on display at the venue and in our online Auction Catalogue where you can submit your best bid for the items using this number. To make it easy for us to bid on items and manage the auction we’ll be using OneCause (formerly BidPal) mobile phone bidding app for both the Silent and Live Auction. You’ll be registered and given access when you buy tickets online and at check in. The Silent Auction will begin online a few days prior to the event. During the gala we’ll send text updates to let you know if you're outbid and when bidding closes. Check your phone periodically to make sure you get one last chance to bid on your favorite items during the night.The Live Auction portion of the evening is a tonne of fun. We’ll have an auctioneer for fun, fast-paced bidding. This is a truly fun part of the evening- the bidding wars are epic! But it is all in good fun!

What is a "Fund-a-Need / Paddle Raise"?

A Paddle Raise is a form of live auction. During the live auction the auctioneer asks everyone to raise their auction paddle to indicate their interest in contributing at various monetary levels to a specific need the school has identified. Last year, our Fund-a-Need Paddle Raise effort focused on Financial Aid Tuition. With everyone's generous contributions, we raised $xxxxx and we were able to help many students at the Whitby School. We hope you’ll consider including the “Fund-a-Need/Paddle Raise" opportunity in your budget for the Gala evening.

I heard there are raffles & prizes for guests. What is a "Heads/Tails Last One Standing" game and what’s a 50:50 Raffle?

The excitement never stops! In the spirit of giving and getting, this year we’re adding some fun opportunities for YOU to win big with a 50:50 Raffle and a Heads or Tails Last One Standing game. Visit for individual gala tickets at $195 or even better, for just $50 more you can buy a Chances Are Bundle which includes your gala ticket and 3 chances to play/win - you’ll get: 1 x Individual gala ticket plus 1 x Heads/Tails ticket and 2 x 50:50 Raffle tickets. Buy your gala and raffle tickets together as a bundle for the best value. Heads or Tails Last One Standing game is a quick spirited game that will be played during our event. The winner of the Heads and Tails game wins a mystery prize donated by one of our generous sponsors/donors. So join the fun! Plan to play! A 50-50 raffle is a super fun fundraising raffle where everyone's a winner! 50% of the total prize pool goes to the winner and the other 50% goes towards the Whitby School fundraising efforts. Hence the name, 50-50 raffle fundraiser. With only 600 tickets available your odds of winning are pretty good! The winner of the 50:50 Raffle will be a randomly chosen single ticket. The maximum total prize pool depends on how many tickets are sold upto a maximum of $12K (= 600 tickets at $20 each). One lucky guest wins a cash prize of 50% of the total pool (upto $6k). Guests can purchase one or more tickets, and each ticket purchased equals one entry in the draw for the prize. The winner will be announced live at the event and again via email the following week. Unable to attend the gala but still want to participate in the 50:50 Raffle? No problem! You can buy raffle tickets without having to attend the event.When you buy tickets online you’ll receive your raffle tickets at registration check in on the night of the gala.

If I win something, can I take it home at the end of the evening?

We’re going digital! To make it easier for you we’ll be utilizing OneCause (BidPal) Auctions mobile app tool. From ticket purchase to check-in registration to auction e-checkout, OneCause provides the tools to help us raise even more funds while eliminating the hassle of manually processing payments and handling check-out. Most items will be available for pick up at school the week following the gala. The Auction team will let you know which, if any, items will be available to take home at the end of the night. Ah yes….instant gratification - it’s a beautiful thing.

What’s the best way to get involved with the Whitby School Gala?

Get involved your way! Helping with pre-gala planning and preparation is always welcome. But the best and easiest way for most people to “help” is by attending the event and participating in the activities and auctions. Let's be honest...... Events are always better with friends! Get your crew together and buy individual tickets or a whole table together.

There’s Strength in Numbers!

Consider teaming together as a few parents or as an entire class when bidding on larger auction items or experiences at the Gala. Trip packages, teacher outings, sports, arts and travel experiences! The possibilities are endless, especially when families pool resources and work together!

Do you need help with planning or set-up and clean-up?

Absolutely! We need as many helpers as possible before and on the day of the event! The more volunteers we have, the faster we get everything set up the more time we all have to get our party attire and dancing shoes on! Plus, when you help with the gala you'll get a preview of all of the amazing auction items.

How do I keep up to date on "all things Gala"?

Sign up at for updates, tickets, info and previews of all things Gala. Whitby School will also keep you updated via periodic emails. Be sure to check your email inbox for the Save-the-Date, the Gala invitation and for the various pre-gala activities - this year we’re doing a Make-a-Mask event for the kids which promises to be lots of fun for kids and parents. We’ll also send printed invitations to your home the fun old fashioned way, so remember to check your mailbox.

Thanks for being part of the wonderful Whitby Community.


Whitby School                969 Lake Avenue Greenwich, CT 06831         203.869.8464

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Whitby Masquerade Gala,  7th March 2020


March 7th 2020