St. Bede Auction to highlight the school’s 125th commencement

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Three St. Bede students, left to right, Anna Morton, Anna Postula and Kate Plakenhorn, volunteer at the 2016 auction. The three freshmen were among more than 100 students who volunteer to help with the auction each year. (Photo contributed)

PERU - As the 125th commencement of St. Bede approaches, hundreds of people will celebrate this historic milestone by attending the St. Bede Auction on Saturday, April 29. Last year the sold out auction broke several all-time records. This year they look to break even more.

For the third year, mobile bidding will be enabled, allowing anyone to bid on silent and super silent items right from their phone or tablet. People who reside outside of the area can register to make mobile bids and be able to attend the auction “virtually” in support of the Academy’s largest fundraiser.

“Mobile bidding has been a success because our guests have more time to enjoy the event and socialize plus those who are unable to attend can take part in the evening as well,” said Bonnie Prokup, who oversees the auction each year. “The technology of mobile bidding makes it fun, convenient and simplifies check in and check out. And what’s really exciting is we can share with our guests immediately an exact total of what was raised when the silent and super silent auction closes.”

In addition to mobile bidding, the St. Bede Signature Item will also return. “Attendees at this year’s auction will have the chance to purchase an item that beautifully symbolizes our 125 year history,” said Abbot Philip Davey, O.S.B. ’65.

“This one-of-a-kind exclusive item, designed and created only for the auction, will touch the hearts of generations as it ties our past to the present in beauty, faith and tradition,” said development director Julia Yaklich.

A special part of the evening will feature students from the Class of 2017, the 125th class to graduate from St. Bede. They will bring special thanks and bid farewell in honor of all the 124 graduating classes before them. “We are excited to do something that has never been done before,” said senior Jaci Cain, “but you’ll have to come to the auction to find out what it’s all about.”

John Spencer, vice president of operations at LaSalle County Broadcasting, will host and emcee the auction. He will team up with well-known charity auctioneer Greg Dellinger. “Greg is passionate about Catholic education, filled with high energy and humor and we are thrilled to have him as our auctioneer this year,” Yaklich noted.

Extraordinary trips to Hawaii, New Orleans, New York, Church Hill Downs and international trips to Greece, London, Argentina - and the return of the popular Tuscany villa for 10 - are just some of the many travel packages offered this year. Sporting events such as J.A. Happ games; Notre Dame, Bulls, Cardinals and Cubs tickets; and a variety of golf packages are included in both the live, silent and super silent auction. Some of the unique new items this year will include a “Leap of Faith” skydiving experience with Fr. Ronald Margherio, a two-year car lease and a five-course meal for 40 prepared by Chef Charlie. There will be something for everyone.

Golf enthusiasts are invited to watch an online video detailing the generously donated live auction exclusive, a Rich Harvest Farms golf weekend, at (St. Bede will accept proxy bids for any live auction item.) This fabulous all-inclusive two-night, three day weekend stay at Harvest Lodge for four guests is valued over $12,000 and includes unlimited golf, all meals, carts and caddies. The package also features a guided tour of the Auto Museum, which is the personal collection of over 65 vintage automobiles owned by Jerry Rich.

“Near or far don’t miss enjoying this great event as we celebrate and honor 125 years of graduates and tradition,” said Superintendent Dr. Ted Struck. “Our live, silent and super silent auction items are outstanding and the yearlong planning for a fabulous evening will be evident.”

For more information, to view auction items and to register for the auction/mobile bidding, visit, contact Bonnie Prokup at (815) 250-0342 or e-mail [email protected]

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