A Toast to Sion

The school community supports in style.


Madeline Hammett

Alumna Christy Shively ’95 and friend Kristin Hammett, mother of junior Madeline Hammett, discuss their daughters’ Sion experience while waiting in line for the free bar.

Madeline Hammett, News Editor

After a year of planning, the annual Sion Gala was held at the Westin at Crown Center March 7 and raised over $600,000 while hosting alumnae, parents of students, board members, major donors and other members of the Sion community.

“It is worth it. Not only does it raise ‘a lot’ of money for our school, it generates an amazing sense of community, bringing our parents, alumnae, faculty and staff together all in one room, working together to support Sion,” Event Coordinator Molly Fisher ‘86 said.

“It generates an amazing sense of community, bringing our parents, alumnae, faculty and staff together all in one room, working together to support Sion.” ”

— Event Coordinator Molly Fisher ‘86 said

For guests, the night began around 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30 and a live auction. It was a long night, but a very successful one for the community, according to Fisher. 


Madeline Hammett
Alumna Margaret Maschler ’18 and her friends pose in front of the photo booth in the Gala reception hall.

“The Gala is the single largest fundraiser of the year for Sion. The funds raised go to our operating budget – which is directly to the bottom line,” Fisher said. “It pays for everything from teachers’ salaries to paying the light bill, athletic equipment, new technology, maintenance, school supplies, every single thing that you see in these buildings, including people, are paid for out of the operating budget.”

The Gala was previously held at the Muehlebach downtown in 2018 and 2019. It moved locations to the Westin, which showcased a large waterfall and reception area for conversation before dinner. 

“I like the Westin as a venue because it is easy to get to, easy for parking, and a familiar KC spot,” alumna Christy Shively ‘95 said. 

Students on the Car Raffle committee sold Chance of a Lifetime tickets and Car Raffle tickets throughout the night.  All 100 Chance of a Lifetime tickets were sold along with an ample amount of car raffle tickets in addition to the 951 already sold by the student body. 


Madeline Hammett
Alumna Christy Shively ’95 and friend Britta Swanson laugh in the reception hall before heading to the photo booth.

“It was really fun to get some practice selling things,” Car Raffle committee member junior Olivia Overlease said. “It’s not something I practice on a regular basis, but I think it is important to learn, especially in a fun setting, because it could help with lots of things in the future.”

A silent auction occurred with bidding available through attendees’ phones. Later on in the night, senior Maleah Downton gave a speech to introduce the Fund-a-Need video. After the video, attendees surpassed the $100,000 anonymous match raising over $225,000 through direct donations. Directly following was the live auction with bidding on items such as a trip to Ireland, graduation box seats, a Saturday Night Live experience, a trip to Chicago and more. In total, with silent and live auction bidding and direct donations, the annual Sion Gala raised over $600,000, according to Fisher.

“I enjoyed the Gala,” Shively said. “The company and the speech by the Sion student was wonderful.”