This past Saturday, December 3, St. Sebastian’s mothers’ association – the Guild of St. Irene – held the annual Christmas Auction and Dinner, continuing a tradition of hosting a holiday fundraiser that’s almost as old as the School itself.

Guild of Sr. Irene Christmas Shop,1951
Guild of St. Irene Christmas Shop, 1951

In 1949, the Guild ran its first Christmas Shop and raised $5,500. According to Walrus writer, John McCarthy ’50, “it was the most successful money making affair ever sponsored by the school.”

Through the 1950s, the Guild of St. Irene was busily engaged in conducting teas, card parties, fashion shows, and lectures. The Guild ran the Christmas Shop while their spouses in the St. Sebastian’s Association (today known as the Men’s Association) hosted the Annual Penny Sale. The proceeds of the Christmas Shop increased steadily in the 1950s—from $5,600 in 1949–50 to almost $12,000 by the end of the decade.  Cardinal Cushing regularly attended this annual event, which donated all proceeds to the School.

Christmas shop, 1970.
Christmas Shop, 1970.

Through the years, the Guild continued to support the School with a holiday fundraiser that eventually evolved from a Christmas bazaar into the successful Christmas Auction & Dinner during the 1990’s.
This is just one of the many events hosted by the Guild throughout each school year. Indeed, the Guild has played a vital role in the quality and mission of St. Sebastian’s—a testament to their hundreds of members since it was formed in 1949.

With Mrs. Harold Field serving as the first president, the Guild formed the following statement of loyalty:

“To work for and support the principles and ideals of St. Sebastian’s Country Day School; to cooperate with the Reverend Headmaster and faculty in advancing school programs; to cooperate in every possible way with the St. Sebastian’s Association in their endeavors; to encourage and promote activities that will assemble the members for spiritual, intellectual and social enrichment.”

As we celebrate the success of another Christmas Auction and Dinner, let’s pause and remember just how much the Guild has done for our great School!

Christmas Auction and Dinner, 2016