Academy’s Action Auction 50 nearly ready to roll

The 50th anniversary of The Grosse Pointe Academy’s Action Auction is Saturday, 6 p.m. Bevy of volunteers, teachers and staff are working hard to make this year’s event another big success.

A rare 1993 Dodge Viper is moved into position inside the Tracy Fieldhouse ahead of Saturday’s Action Auction.

It’s been a flurry of activity at auction central at The Grosse Pointe Academy as volunteers, auction chairs and school officials are preparing for the 50th GPA Action Auction, which will begin at 6 p.m., Saturday evening on the Academy’s Grosse Pointe Farms campus.

According to Kristen Van Pelt, GPA’s director of development, the annual event does not happen without a lot of help, including help from faculty and staff.

“We are so thankful for the help of our teachers and staff who are called upon once again in an effort to make the evening run successfully,” she said. “The money raised goes into the school’s operating budget, affording our staff the opportunity to continue to teach our students and provide a program that consistently rates among the highest in southeast Michigan.”

Famed charity auctioneer Mark Schroeder of Auction Brio will be on hand for the auction tomorrow.

The silent auction opened Wednesday of this week and items for both the silent and live auctions are being set in place in the Academy’s Tracy Fieldhouse. Featured auction items available include a rare 1993 Dodge Viper, an original oil painting by alum and noted artist Meg Mercier (’77), and a special ring with a 10.17-carat aquamarine stone designed by local jeweler Edmund T. Ahee to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the auction.

The evening will wrap up with the Club Action Auction Afterglow, always a fun time of music and dancing.

Van Pelt also noted that famed charity auctioneer Mark Schroeder of Auction Brio will be on hand for the big event, bringing an exciting new wrinkle to the actual auction process.

Over four decades, the GPA auction has generated more than $15.2 million dollars in net proceeds from an event that regularly features more than 400 attendees.


Another significant component of this year’s 50th Anniversary Action Auction is the special ‘paddle-raise’ appeal dedicated to the preservation of campus buildings and grounds. Beginning with this year’s event, auction officials will be calling the appeal “Make It Happen,” and Saturday’s “Make it Happen” will benefit the school’s Tracy Fieldhouse.

Also significant each auction is the raffle, which this year features a 100-ticket-maximum, $100-per-ticket chance to win a “season of shoes and handbags” presented by Neiman Marcus. It’s an exclusive opportunity to shop at Neiman Marcus once a month for three months for the latest in designer shoes and handbags. Tickets will be sold for $100 each during the silent auction from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday.


For those who cannot attend the event, officials said there is a way to still get a bidder number and bid remotely: Go to and click on “Register Today” to register and receive your bidder number. To bid on silent auction items, use your bidder number at For live auction items, please call Mary Beth Westwood at 313-886-1221, ext. 180, to coordinate with an onsite bidder.

Master jeweler and designer Chris Ahee from Edmund T. Ahee Jewelers sketched out the aquamarine and diamond cocktail ring, which will take center stage at the Academy’s auction on May 13.

To generally support the event as well as the Academy directly, click on

About The Grosse Pointe Academy
The Grosse Pointe Academy is an independent, coeducational day school serving children age 2 1/2 through Grade 8. We foster an inclusive environment that respects all cultures and religious beliefs. We seek to remain faithful to our heritage as a former Academy of the Sacred Heart and to those who through their Catholic faith and perseverance sought to preserve and enhance the legacy of this past for generations. Incorporated as a non-profit institution, The Grosse Pointe Academy is directed by a Board of Trustees working together to serve the Southeastern Michigan community.