Pine Peace Auction Aims To Raise Money for GHS Scholarships

Auctioneer George Blackhall will once again entertain the crowd at this year’s Pine Peace Auction at the Westin Resort and Villas.


The Gifft Hill School is gearing up to host its 22nd annual Pine Peace Auction, and tickets to the event are already selling fast. Proceeds from the auction, which will be at the Westin Resort and Villas on Saturday, March 15, will go to the GHS scholarship fund. The champagne reception and silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m., with dinner seating and the live auction beginning at 7 p.m.

Guests can expect auction packages ranging from vacations to home improvement packages, and George Blackhall will once again entertain the crowd with his auctioneering skills. Plenty of art and jewelry will be up for grabs at the silent auction, along with some new, more technologically advanced additions.

“We’ll have technology-related things you can’t get on St. John like iPhones, a MacBook and a Wii,” said GHS Development Director Beth Jones. “We’re just trying to make it a little more fun, and hopefully increase the bidding.”

Ski Trips, Dinners Up for Bid
Bidders can browse auction packages and bid online at, set up for the school by Gail Siart of Outside Solutions, beginning March 1. There will undoubtedly be some high-stakes bidding for this year’s live auction packages, which include everything from ski trips to week-long stays in St. John villas.

Local restaurants have also stepped up to the plate, with Rhumb Lines offering a dinner and rum tasting, and Ocean Grill and the Tap Room pairing up to offer a dinner and beer tasting. Bottles of fine wine will also be auctioned off for bidders to enjoy right at their dinner table or to take home.

“We’re just trying to add a couple little twists this year so it’s even more fun and exciting than last year,” said Jones.

The dinner auction is sponsored largely by the Westin Resort, which donates the gourmet dinner enjoyed by guests as well as trips for the auction packages, explained Jones.

“Their staff does a fabulous job of making the event happen,” she said.

Event-goers will also enjoy a video produced by Steve Simonsen highlighting the students of GHS as a reminder of where the auction’s money goes. Fifty-five percent of the private school’s students receive financial aid — more than double the average for private schools, according to Jones.

School’s Biggest Fundraiser
“Our philosophy is that money should never be a barrier to quality education,” she said. “We feel children should be able to stay on St. John through high school if they choose to. We’re trying to make the school accessible to as many children as possible.”

GHS hopes to top last year’s total of $170,000 at the 22nd annual auction, Jones added. The GHS development director encouraged everyone to come to the event.

“It’s fun and it really is for a good cause,” said Jones. “There are so many fabulous kids here now who wouldn’t be here without the scholarship program, and the auction is the school’s biggest fundraiser for scholarships. It’s going to be the best year ever.”

Tickets for the event are $125 per person or $1,000 per table, and can be purchased at St. John Hardware, or by contacting Jones at 776-1730 or Cash, credit cards and checks are accepted.

“Ticket sales are better than ever this year, so please let me know as soon as possible so I can make sure to get you a seat,” said Jones.