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Annual Dinner and Auction Event
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Thanks to the generosity and support of so many, San Mateo High School Foundation's 13th Annual Bearcat Benefit, Bearcats in Bollywood, which took place in the Bayview Dining Room in the College of San Mateo on October 29th was an absolute and tremendous success!

Nearly 240 Bearcat community members came together, the highest attendance ever at a Bearcat Benefit, donned in colorful Indian attire from exquisite saris to elegant kurtas, to experience a day in Bollywood! The venue was decorated elaborately to fit the theme, from Bollywood movie posters on the walls, to rangoli on the tables and beautiful marigolds adorning pathways and columns. The beautifully dressed attendees were treated to the following:

Bravo Reception, where attendees were treated to delicious Indian hors d’oeuvres, a fun signature cocktail named Bearcat ki Masti & complimentary drinks all night, VIP bags & mellifluous performances by the talented SMHS String Orchestra, Bella Sinfonia; Rare & Exotic Silent Auction items that ranged from exquisite antique Indian jewelry in an Everything Bollywood section to fun and exciting new pay to plays such as a cupcake decorating class; a Selfie station complete with Bollywood-themed fun props; A gourmet dinner buffet that included delicious Indian entrees such as Tandoori Salmon and Chole; An exciting Live Auction led by the charismatic and energetic SMHS Social Studies Teacher Casey Teague as Auctioneer who helped raise more than $24,000 for Live Auction items alone; Outstanding Performances by the SMHS Chamber Singers Ensemble, SMHS Bollywood Club, the cast of SMHS Musical Disaster, and SMHS Advanced Dance students; and finally, dancing to a truly upbeat and fun Bollywood playlist!

Thanks to the RECORD-BREAKING success of this year's Benefit, which raised more than $250,000 through individual & business sponsorships as well as ticket sales, silent and live auction proceeds, MORE THAN ANY OTHER YEAR IN FOUNDATION HISTORY, the Foundation can continue to support important programs that directly benefit SMHS students and staff, from essential classroom supplies and critical technology improvements to professional development opportunities for teachers. More than $23,000 was collected for this year's Fund-A-Need, a program to provide Chromebooks for checkout to every entering Freshman student, thereby becoming the first high school in the district to implement a one-to one device program. 


First and foremost, the Foundation is deeply indebted to this year's Benefit Co-chairs Ashvini Bhave & Divya Mailk with support from Foundation Co-President Harini Krishnan for their tireless and meticulous efforts to make Bearcats in Bollywood such a tremendous success! From carefully planning the elaborate menu for the event and attending taste testing sessions, to making multiple trips to CSM to ensure that every feet of the venue was decorated tastefully and colorfully in Bollywood-themed decorations, these co-chairs left no stone unturned! They were fortunate to work with the hardest-working group of volunteers and led the team with a truly inclusive, collaborative spirit and for that, we are so grateful!

It takes a village to raise funds for the GREATEST HIGH SCHOOL ON EARTH and the following individuals were critical to the success of this year's benefit:

First and foremost, the Foundation could not do what it does without the tireless dedication of OUR BOARD MEMBERS! 


Mark Chandler, Co-President
Harini Krishnan, Co-President
Diane Hong, Vice President
Chemi Lo, Vice President
Eudora Ting, Treasurer
Lori Tamura-Chinn, Secretary


Christine Andriola
Lisa Baba
Larry Brooks
Don Geddis
Carol Hee
Divya Malik
Amy McHugh
Saswati Paul
Gene Semenza
Lori Tamura-Chinn
Junko Tanaka
Jill Vath
Gilbert Wai
Lori Williams
Vicky Wong


PIERRO MARGALLO for all his continued help in designing the Logo for the benefit year after year;

AMY MCHUGH AND LISA BABA for heading an outstanding Family & Individual Sponsorship Team, who collectively secured more in family sponsorships THAN ANY OTHER YEAR IN FOUNDATION HISTORY! Our thanks goes to Amy & Lisa's Family Sponsorship Team members: Chemi Lo, Divya Malik, Gilbert Wai, Harini Krishnan, Junko Tanaka, Lori Tamura-Chinn, Lori Williams & Saswati Paul;

VICKY WONG for heading the Business Sponsorship Team comprised of Chemi Lo and Harini Krishnan and securing 14 Business sponsors, including 3 new business sponsors this year;

HARINI KRISHNAN & VICKY WONG for heading the Silent & Live Auction Solicitation Team comprised of Mark & Carolyn Chandler, Susan Battat, Ashvini Bhave, Divya Malik. Diane Hong, Saswati Paul, Jill Vath, Jill Goldring, Eudora Ting, Christine Semenza, Lori Tamura-Chinn, Junko Tanaka, Carol Hee, Don Geddis, Amy Mchugh, Chris Pietro, Madhu Vasu, Jennifer Selvitella, Chrissy Andriola, Sandy Lai, Jayu Mehta, Chemi Lo, Marissa Huang, Iling Tang, Tim & Laurie Hilt, Lisa Baba, Stacy Jimenez, Yvonne Shiu and so many members of the SMHS Staff & Faculty who brought in amazing items that ranged from a Lake Tahoe Getaway weekend to 4 Park Hopper tickets to Disneyland!

JILL GOLDRING for once again heading Silent Auction Basket Assembly and graciously allowing her home to be transformed into auction central for the past month, and her amazing team of parents including Junko Tanaka, Diane Hong, Lexi Hong, Margaret Pardasani, Sandy Lai, Saswati Paul, Chemi Lo, Jill Vath, Raksha Joshi, Ashvini Bhave, Carol Hee, Momoe Sasaki, Judy Lichtman, Shirley Kan, Melanie Myers, Vicky Wong, Lori Tamura-Chinn, Lori Williams, Isabelle Bushman, Chrissy Andriola, Divya Malik & Eudora Ting;

JUNKO TANAKA for the hours and hours she spent inputting all the auction items and their descriptions into auction software, ensuring that the whole auction process was truly seamless, heading Auction Input with help from Sandy Lai & Margaret Pardasani;

DIVYA MALIK, BOB KAYNE, ANN RHEE, HARINI KRISHNAN & YVONNE SHIU, for all their help with Publicity for the event;

BOB KAYNE AND HARINI KRISHNAN for coordinating ticket sales for the benefit;

HARINI KRISHNAN for preparing the programs for the event;

ILING TANG, ASHVINI BHAVE, DIVYA MALIK & JILL VATH for heading the Decorations Team and transforming the Bayview Dining Room into a Bollywood stage in Mumbai! Our sincere thanks goes to their Team members Devi Ananda, Carol Hee, Jenny Yang Lin, Christina Lin, Aida Lowe, Elizabeth Tang, Saswati Paul, Anika Krishnan, Sonia Bhanot, Deepti Jain, Madhu Vasu, Jayu Mehta, Terri Cruce, Chrissy Andriola, Lori Tamura-Chinn, Don Geddis, Mark Chandler, Diane Hong & Chemi Lo;

JANA FORE and her Team members, Ashvini Bhave, Divya Malik, Chrissy Andriola, Terri Cruce, Sonia Bhanot, Madhu Vasu, Gene Semenza & Robert Chinn for organizing a breathtaking Bravo reception complete with amazing VIP bags;  A SPECIAL SHOUTOUT TO OUR BENEFIT CO-CHAIR DIVYA MALIK AND HER HUSBAND GAURAV SHAH FOR COMING UP WITH THE SIGNATURE COCKTAIL FOR THE BENEFIT THIS YEAR!

GENE SEMENZA, MARK CHANDLER, VICKY WONG AND JANA FORE for procuring all the drinks and beverages for the benefit;

ASHVINI BHAVE AND DIVYA MALIK WITH HELP FROM GENE SEMENZA  for coordinating the special menu for the event.

JIM WUNDERLICH for setting up computers & printers and all his help with auction software;

SARA COWEY for all her help in finding a Bearcat mascot for the evening;

DIANE & STANLEY HONG for all their help in getting programs ready for checkin;

CHRISTINE SEMENZA for all her help in printing the nametags, auction categories and directions signs for the event;

JENNY LIN, EUNICE RIM & DIANE HONG for heading a stellar Checkin Team including Jim Wunderlich, Sandy Lai, Kamna Mittal, Barbara Rodio, Alice Sabalvaro-Torres, Lourdes Enriquez, Don Geddis, Elizabeth Mulkerrin, & Lori Tamura-Chinn.

MARYANNE RIBI AND EUDORA TING, for the hours and hours they spent fine tuning the Auction Checkout process and for leading an amazing team which included Alumni parent JEAN TOM, Current Parents Jim Wunderlich, Cecilia Apolinar-Hirano, Junko Tanaka, Jennifer Lee, Harini Krishnan & Saswati Paul who made the complicated and chaotic process of auction checkout a breeze;

Our dynamic auctioneers CASEY TEAGUE for making Live Auction exciting & successful, and MARK CHANDLER for heading the Fund a Need presentation;

CHEMI LO for heading the Live Auction & Fund A Need Spotters Team;

EUDORA TING  for coordinating all the student helpers and for ensuring that the green room for the performers was properly stocked with snacks;

MARIE DAMELO & KIM MCINTIRE for supervising the performers;

JUNKO TANAKA for filming and producing the Foundation Video;

TIL TRIBUZI, for enabling the SMHS String Orchestra to perform at Bravo;

SHAWN REIFSCHNEIDER,  for enabling the SMHS Chamber Singers Ensemble to perform at the benefit and PAUL ZAWILSKI for his instrumental support.

BRAD FRIEDMAN, for enabling the cast of Diasater to perform at the benefit, and RICK REYNOLDS for his instrumental support;

ROBYN TRIBUZI for enabling Advanced Dance to perform at the benefit;

STUDENT ABHAYA KRISHNAN-JHA for choreographing the SMHS Bollywood Club performance;

STUDENT HELPERS Abhaya Krishnan-Jha, Aida Lowe, Anika Krishnan, Ariel Blemur, Atiya Shah, Christina Lin, Emily Chinn, Emily McHugh, Elizabeth Tang, Ethan Low, Gino Semenza, James Baba, Kiki Lo, Kyle Hong, Lauren Young, Lian Ting & Preston Lo, for giving up their Saturday to help with all aspects of the benefit;


The Foundation extends a special thanks to PRINCIPAL YVONNE SHIU, ASSISTANT PRINCIPALS JESSE BOISE & ADAM GELB, DEAN PATTI GIAMONI, AND ALL TEACHERS AND STAFF, who not only attended the benefit in numbers, but also contributed generously to the silent and live auctions!

On a final note, we are deeply grateful to our SPONSORS AND DONORS for their generous support! If you have not had a chance to send in your fair share donation and would like to do so, simply visit and send in your donation today!

For those of you who were not able to join us at the benefit this year, please click on the link below to see the video that was shown at the benefit which describes the various programs & resources funded by the Foundation over the years in an entertaining manner!


Bearcat Benefit 2016:
Bearcat Benefit: Bearcat Masquerade
Read all about it and see the pictures.
Bearcat Benefit 2015:
Bearcat Benefit: The Magic of Mateo
Read all about it and see the pictures.
Bearcat Benefit 2014:
Bearcat Benefit: Bearcat Boulevards
Read all about it and see the pictures.
Bearcat Benefit 2013:
Bearcat Benefit: A Command Performance
Read all about it and see the pictures.
Bearcat Benefit 2012:
Bearcat Benefit: Vote for Bearcats 2012: A Resounding Success!
Read all about it and see the pictures.
Bearcat Benefit 2011:
Bearcat Benefit: VIVA MATEO! was a huge success!
Read all about it and see the pictures.
Bearcat Benefit 2010:
Bearcat Benefit: Building for the Future was a huge success!
Read all about it and see the pictures.
Bearcat Benefit 2009:
Magic of Mateo Back to Basics with the Bearcats was a huge success!
Read all about it and see the pictures.
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