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Community Channels James Bond at INTL Annual Gala & Auction

Community Channels James Bond at INTL Annual Gala & Auction

On a thrilling Saturday night, the Silicon Valley International School (INTL) community came together with the finesse of a secret agent, rallying together to raise over $200,000 at the Annual Gala & Auction. From a beautiful Aston Martin presented at the entrance to enjoying french fries (one of 007’s favorites) as a late-night snack, everyone was transported to a world of glamour and intrigue.

As the guests entered the Gala, they were greeted with a welcome martini - shaken, not stirred - followed by a luxurious dinner, a high-stakes live auction, and of course, plenty of dancing! This extravagant affair stands as INTL's grandest fundraising accomplishment of the year, and this accolade is made possible by the dedication of all who joined in. 

Four guests posing for a photo during the cocktail hour.The black Aston Martin parked outside of the venue

Despite the rain outside, attendees' spirits remained joyful during the cocktail hour as the ballroom overflowed with lively laughter and smiling faces. Many new faces joined the event, with first-year parents experiencing their very first Gala. Attendees emphasized how Gala is a special night that comes every year and allows the entire community to join together in unison. A highlight of the evening was the opportunity for guests to pose in front of our sophisticated and stylized James Bond-themed backdrop, expertly crafted by Janet Roitsch, capturing the essence of espionage and glamour. 

6 teachers posed in front of the James Bond themed backdrop.A couple posed in front of the James Bond themed backdrop.

As the lively cocktail hour came to a close, guests made their way to their seats to watch a live James Bond themed performance from the school's middle school student "INTL Band" setting the stage for an evening filled with excitement and entertainment. 

Four pictures of the band showing. Top left (Keyboard player and bassist), top right (Guitarist), bottom left (piano player and keyboard player), bottom right (marimba player)

Following an introduction from Patricia Colin, Chief Advancement Officer, the 2024 INTL Alumni Award winner was announced. This year's recipient, Karl Yost, a member of INTL's very first graduating high school class of 2020, embodies the spirit of learning and bilingualism fostered at INTL. Now in his final quarter before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Karl has already amassed a wealth of research experience. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. and has received acceptance letters from prestigious universities including Northwestern, University of California Berkeley, and Princeton.

After Karl's acceptance of his well-deserved Alumni Award, Gala Chairperson, Reena Wittig, took the stage. This year’s Gala owes much of its success to the dedication of Reena, a passionate advocate for the IB and bilingual education. In her speech, Reena highlighted the importance of cultivating a globally minded perspective, drawing parallels between James Bond's international adventures and INTL students' journeys as "international secret agents."

Chair Reena Wittig giving a welcoming speech to the crowd.

As the ceremonial awards and speeches concluded, attendees were more than ready to experience a thrilling and exciting live auction. Of course, no auction is complete without a plethora of appetizing food options! During the live auction, guests were presented with multiple delicious meal options, ranging from pan-seared beef to Mediterranean Alaskan halibut to vegetable Wellington, ensuring a feast fit for a spy. All attendees were also treated to a delectable chocolate hazelnut Gianduja.

Dinner: top left (halibut), top right (steak), bottom left (wellington), bottom right (desert)

A delightful and unique moment during this year’s live auction was the attendance of the Consul General of France, Frédéric Jung. Thanks to his generous donation of an unforgettable gourmet dinner at the Résidence de France in San Francisco, this lot alone raised $10,000 and giving 10 guests an exclusive dining experience of refined gastronomy and conviviality alongside the consul and his partner.

Four photos of couples at their tables.

One of the final lots of the night was INTL’s Fund-a-Need, a yearly initiative where a specific need is identified within the school. The goal is to then raise funds to satisfy this need and better support the future of our students and teachers. This year's Fund-a-Need tackles the challenge of training our faculty in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a powerful learning tool used in a responsible way. With over $130,000 raised during the Gala, there is still time to contribute to this year’s Fund-a-Need and help prepare our students to be the leaders of tomorrow. 

As per tradition, the event ended with the crowd dancing late into the night. Every aspect, from the decorations to the cuisine and entertainment, added to the ambiance of the evening. Guests were well-dressed, and the atmosphere radiated excitement and joy. It was a clear success, truly deserving of 007’s approval.

A couple dancing at the end of the night.A large group posing for a photo on the dance floor.


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