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Special Events

Gala FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 4 items.

  • Q: What is the Auction and Gala?

    The Auction and Gala (Gala) is Houston Christian (HC) High School’s largest annual fundraising event held this year on April 14, 2023. The Gala is produced by a volunteer committee in partnership with the HC Development Office.  
  • Q: How can you help?

    Support the fundraising goal even before we get to the night of the event! The goal of the Gala committee is to have the costs of the event covered by underwriting so that every dollar spent at the Gala goes straight to the school’s general fund. There are underwriting opportunities at many different levels. Please contact Angela Wade Ferguson in HC Development or click to view the Sponsorships form

    Table Sponsorships
    Coordinate with your HC friends and buy a table! Purchasing a table guarantees a seat with guests you choose (or we can help you in filling out that table; just let us know). You can also invite colleagues and friends who would enjoy the Gala or who may be considering HC for their own future student. Individual tickets (pp) will be available for purchase for $250 starting March 1st. (see Sponsorships form)

    Auction Donations
    To have an auction, there must be auction items. Popular items include vacation homes, sporting event/concert/theatre tickets, autographed memorabilia, airline tickets, restaurant gift cards, and jewelry…. just to name a few. Need help with ideas? Look for a signup genius to make things easier (coming out in HC communications in December).
    • Live Auction Items: Do you have a vacation home, airline tickets, or theater tickets? Help us put together a great package that would bring families together to support HC!
    • Group Gift: Collaborating with other families on a group gift is a wonderful way to participate. Consider putting together a trip, a collection of fine wines, or a night on the town – there is no limit to the imagination.
    For further information about donations, please contact Angela Wade Ferguson; for specific item valuation questions, please view FAQs about item Valuations.

    The Wine Cellar, The Wine Toss (two different items), and the Whiskey Wall
    Donate a bottle or more of wine/whiskey/scotch or bourbon, or make a monetary donation. We also have a registry located at Specs (Queensbury Rd off BW8) where you can call in and place a credit card order for various priced bottles that will be collected by the Gala committee. Coordinate with Angela Wade Ferguson to drop off your wine at HC. If you prefer, you can make a monetary donation, and all donations will be pooled together, and a wine expert will select the wines.

    FYI: The Wine Cellar is a collection of wine valued at $50+ that goes into the live auction – there are usually more than 50 bottles (instant Wine Cellar). The Wine Toss/Whiskey Wall (two different games) is a collection of wine valued at $30-$50 and whiskey (higher valued), where guests can play a fun game and win as many bottles as possible as they want or can.  

    Fellowship/Sign-up Party
    The Fellowship/Sign-up Parties greatly contribute to our core value of building community. Individuals or groups host an event for students, parents, faculty, or a combination. During the Silent Auction and pre-Gala, guests can buy attendance to the Sign-up party at a predetermined price (this is another great way to be involved if you cannot attend the night-of event). The price paid per guest to attend such a party is a direct donation to the school. The host(s) is(are) responsible for underwriting the complete cost of their event, and it is tax-deductible. Examples include a back-to-school brunch with mimosas for moms, an Ice-cream party at the school for students, etc. 

    The Gala is community building, not just because it is a night to come together to celebrate our school, but also because parents work together all year, in different capacities, to prepare. There are a variety of volunteer jobs, and we are grateful for your help! Let us know if you have time to take on a significant role. If you have an hour or two to help, your time is valuable to us, too! To volunteer, contact this year’s co-chair, Julia Florey. 
  • Q: What is the attire for the event?

    Anything Party: appropriate or festive.  

    Men: sport coats, suit and tie, black tie, Texas Tux, navy slacks/khakis and a nice shirt, evening church-wear.

    Ladies: “After five”, that little black dress or floor-length formal, evening-style church dress.  Simply classic to elegant, all are welcome no matter the attire!  We want you there!
  • Q: What is the purpose of Gala?

    Our Gala has two purposes: fundraising and community-building. This is a great opportunity to support the school while also building friendships and bonds with your fellow HC families and friends. Gala proceeds benefit all HC students by providing funding for important programs, activities, and enrichment that tuition does not cover. 

Auction Item Valuation Information

List of 8 items.

  • Q: How do I decide the fair market value for a stay at our family’s vacation home?

    If your family rents the house, the FMV is established by your rental rates. If you do not rent your home, but other homes in the area are available for rent, the price charged for use of a similarly situated and sized home establishes the value. If there are no comparative commercial rentals, the cost of electricity, amenities, supplies, etc., for the donated period, may instead establish the FMV.
  • Q: How do I value sports memorabilia?

    The price for which such items normally sell at a retail sports memorabilia store is the valuation for tax purposes. For unique and unusual items valued at less than $5,000, a letter from such a store is suitable. Again, if the item is worth more than $5,000, a formal written appraisal is required.
  • Q: I see that the deadline to be included in the auction is March 1, 2023. When is it (truly) too late to donate an item to the Auction?

    If you plan to give a specific item to the Auction that will be ready for pick up just days before the Auction, please submit a completed donation form before the donation deadline. Your item will then be described in the Auction even if it is not physically present.
  • Q: I want to donate (I am a business or donating through my business) – how is my name recognized and how do I get a donation letter?

    Your selected business/name will get recognized any printed items, on our website, on Instagram and Facebook and a variety of other ways.   Each donation form will receive a letter after the event is complete (from the HC Development Office); therefore, a form is imperative for each item or grouping from the same individual/business so we have all the necessary information.  
  • Q: What constitutes the Fair Market Value (FMV) of a donated item?

    The Donor’s responsibility is to state what was paid for the item originally or, to the best of his/her ability, what the item would be sold for.

    The IRS defines fair market value as: “the price a willing buyer will pay a willing seller, in the normal marketplace in which the item is sold, neither being under any compulsion to sell.”

    Therefore, new or used items available for sale at a retail establishment (physically or electronically) would be valued according to the normal selling price of the item. The valuation for collectibles, such as art and antiques, worth more than $5,000 must be established by the written opinion of a qualified appraiser and submitted with the donated item.

    For items valued worth less than $5,000, a written opinion (an informal appraisal by an antique dealer) is helpful to document the valuation that may be claimed for income tax purposes.
  • Q: What if I bought something in a foreign country that cost relatively little but would sell for a higher amount in the United States?

    Technically, the price one paid is not necessarily evidence of an item’s value. Even though an item is unique and not normally sold at retail establishments in the U.S., the donor has a responsibility to set and document a valuation. Either an informal written opinion or a qualified appraisal may be necessary to document the value.
  • Q: What if I have an antique or a painting to donate?

    You, the Donor, must place a FMV on the item before donating it to the Auction following the standards set out in question #1 above. If you plan to claim an income tax deduction for the donation and you believe the item to be worth over $5,000, the tax rules require you provide a written appraisal from a licensed appraiser.
  • Q: Will the Auction office accept an item given well before April, have it picked up, and store that item until Auction time?

    Yes. Contact co-chair, Julia Florey, or Angela Wade Ferguson in HC Development, and either person will arrange a time to drop off or pick up by a volunteer.