April 11, 2022: St. Thomas More High School proudly announces that its auction fundraiser – themed Bet on Blue – raised over $220,000 to support Bet on Blue school operations and student scholarships. Over 350 guests attended the event on April 2, and hundreds of supporters participated online.
Bet on Blue is the first St. Thomas More auction fundraiser with more than $200,000 in gross revenue, making this year’s event the most financially successful since it began in 1984.
After fully virtual events in 2020 and 2021, Bet on Blue was the first auction to feature an in-person celebration since 2019.
“The dinner auction always feels like a family reunion, and we are all starting to realize how much we missed events like this over the last two years,” development and alumni director Dan Steffes (TM ’03) said. “I’m proud to set a fundraising record, and I’m inspired by how excited our guests were to see each other.”
Once the dinner program has concluded, St. Thomas More asks its in-person guests to raise their paddles to contribute to the school’s Fund the Future campaign. All donations to this campaign fund scholarships for St. Thomas More students.
On April 3, a day after the in-person event, Auction Committee co-chairs Rachel Arndt (TM ’97) and Jon Greenberg encouraged those who did not attend to contribute online to Fund the Future. They announced that all contributions made on April 3 and 4 would be matched by the Majerus Family Foundation, doubling the impact of each donor’s gift. Supporters contributed nearly $80,000 to Fund the Future alone between the in-person and online campaigns.
“It was incredible to see the overwhelming support for Bet on Blue, especially Fund the Future,” said Arndt. “Both people in attendance and those participating online rose to the challenge, giving back to the school that means so much to so many alumnae and parents like me.” A 1997 alumna herself, Arndt’s son is a current St. Thomas More student, and her daughter graduated in 2019. Her husband, siblings, and cousins are also St. Thomas More alumni.
After the popularity of the MOREopoly game board at the 2021 virtual auction, St. Thomas More allowed supporters to sponsor a casino-themed board, complete with poker chips and a full roulette wheel and board, for this year’s auction. Supporters chose a poker chip or roulette wheel number to sponsor, with their name – or the name of their company, graduating class, former classmate, favorite teacher, or inspiring coach – recognized next to that number on the roulette wheel and board. Bet on Blue also benefited from several corporate sponsors, including the Milwaukee Admirals, Tri City National Bank, and Butters-Fetting.
“The roulette wheel was an entertaining way for people to recognize and thank the friends, family, and teachers who supported them at St. Thomas More and throughout their lives,” said Greenberg, whose daughter graduated in 2021. “It elevated excitement leading up to the in-person event and allowed supporters who could not attend to participate as well.”
At the dinner auction, St. Thomas More awards the Chancellor Award, the school’s highest honor, to an exceptional supporter who has demonstrated their commitment to Catholic education on Milwaukee’s south side.
This year’s Chancellor Award honorees, Glen and Nancy Guszkowski, created the Guszkowski Scholarship Fund in 2009 to provide scholarships to students who have overcome significant adversity and challenges in their lives. Since then, they have raised over $150,000, providing financial aid for both their STM education and the start of their college career. Glen and Nancy have also been generous supporters of fine arts at STM.
“Glen and Nancy support St. Thomas More, not for the recognition or thanks, but because they want to positively impact young people’s lives,” marketing director Kevin Russell said. “They love having a personal connection with their scholars and enjoy watching them grow, mature, and succeed as they progress through four years at St. Thomas More and beyond.”
To watch the Guszkowskis’ Chancellor Award video, which premiered at Bet on Blue, please visit tmore.info/guszkowskivideo.
For more information about the 2022 St. Thomas More Auction, please visit tmore.org/2022auction.