Cleveland’s spy-themed party turns guests into ‘high’ rollers

Some arms were twisted, but no one needed a “license to kill” to pull in big bucks to boost this great, inner SE Portland high school’s activities. Look: you might see Mr. Bond in the background‚

“Place your bets,” calls roulette croupier Ryan McKenzie, as he spins the ball for high rollers Marilyn McKenzie, Colleen Beckmeyer, and Marla Fuller.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
With the tinkle of cocktail glasses, the sound of the ball spinning in the roulette wheel, and folks dressed formally, you’d have expected to see Agent 007 slip into the Cleveland High School Annual Auction at any moment.

Sporting the theme “007 ‚Äì License to Spend”, this sold-out event, hosting 400 guests, is part party, and part fund-raising event.

“The money we raise,” organizer Corrie Dawn Greiling-Fritsch tells us, “is spent on all sorts of things: books, computers and technology.”

Leigh Nunez checks Sara Kirschenbaum in for her night of fun and food.

According to organizer Greiling-Fritsch, the silent and live auction’s two paddle bids will go to the school’s foundation and for educational technology. “The balance of the funds is spent all throughout the school for things like sports uniforms, text books, everything under the school that it needs.”

Organizer Corrie Dawn Greiling-Fritsch is ready for a big evening helping big spenders‚ with the help of volunteers like Jasmine Fritsch, here  working at an auction computer station.

As attendees glide past the silent auction tables, the cool jazz sounds of  the band “Groover Cleveland” play in the background.

“It is a fun event,” says Greiling-Fritsch. “There is a lot of camaraderie. We keep the ticket prices reasonable, so it’s not just the elite who can attend. The fact that all of the people in the school and the community come together to support education is a phenomenally good thing. They’re spending their money on our kids.”

Ready to enjoy a fine dinner, served in the historic Oaks Park Pavilion, are Sandy and Terry Brown, and David and Teresa Coiteux.

This event, Cleveland High’s largest fundraiser of the year, raised $100,000 for academics, the performing arts, and athletics.

“It looks like this event is another huge success,” exclaims Greiling-Fritsch. “Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s auction. From committee members, to donors, to bidders ‚Äì we couldn’t do it without you!”

Cleveland High Auction Photo Album

This accomplished jazz duo, known as “Groover Cleveland”, Charlie Stanford and Grant Richards supply mellow music while attendees write down their bids during the silent auction and hors d’voures.

Linda Golaszewski and David Summers are checking the silent auction bid sheets to make sure someone else doesn’t win their treasures.

Chris Sheik, auctioneer, starts a friendly bidding rivalry and runs up the donations benefiting CHS students.

The banner about the buffet says it all!

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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