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Spring Gala Details

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

Tomorrow! The Saxon Success Fund (SSF) is hosting a Spring Gala at South Salem High School on Saturday, April 2, from 6-9 pm, to gather the Saxon community and celebrate its 67 years of Saxon traditions!

First, we'd like to thank those of you who have purchased tickets. There is still time to get yours, if you haven't! Just scroll down and click on the button at the very bottom. We went paperless for our ticket sales, so you do not have a paper ticket to bring along. We will have a list at the door to check-off as you arrive.

Please enter the school on the Howard Street (north) side by the Rose Auditorium. All activities will take place in the Rose or in the foyer outside of the auditorium*. You will definitely be able to appreciate the newly renovated Rose Auditorium at our gala!


5:00 - 6:00pm Optional tours of updated wing

6:00 - 7:30pm Silent Auction and Dessert

7:30 - 8:00pm Oral Auction

8:00 - 9:00pm Concert by SSHS alumni

Optional tours will be available beginning at 5:00 pm, for those interested in seeing the improvements made at South with the Salem-Keizer School District bond funds.

When the old Leslie Junior High, the music wing at South and the Rose Auditorium came down to make way for the recent improvements, we salvaged items like gym floor planks, lockers, auditorium chairs and the stage curtain. The silent auction will feature items made from creatively repurposed salvaged materials, including pillows made from the stage curtain, commemorating the "old" Rose, unique hand-crafted items made from the gym floor, and a locker filled with Saxon memorabilia.

Bricks, salvaged from the demolition of Leslie/Howard St and the Rose Auditorium- last chance to purchase a brick as they are almost gone.

Cribbage board- made by South alum, Ken Hise from Leslie's gym floor. This is just one of several items made from the flooring including Corn Hole sets, and charcuterie boards.
Pillows- made in 2 sizes from the main stage curtain of the old Rose and embroidered with the dates of the old Rose.

Chairs- Reclaimed from the old Rose and we will sell 6 single chairs, 2 sets of 2 and 2 sets of 3. This is the only time these will be sold.

The oral auction will have custom decorated original Rose Auditorium chairs commemorating notable Saxons including Mrs. Quanbeck (aka Mrs. Q, the legendary Drama teacher at South), Journey drummer Deen Castronovo '83, and Napoleon Dynamite (South alumnus Jon Heder '96). The final two chairs will be decorated with South Roses and photos taken from yearbooks. All five chairs will be unique and offer a piece of Saxon history.

The Journey chair, featuring autographs from the whole band! Deen Castonovo, Journey drummer, is a Saxon alum!

Rose Auditorium chair decorated with yearbook photos covering the history of South, from the early years in black and white to the present in living color! The photos show the breadth of student life with an emphasis on music and drama in the Rose. Decorated by AnneMarie Dufault, '82.

quilt by Barb Cross
Beautiful quilt in Saxon colors, created by Barb Cross '63 and retired SSHS counselor

Saxons Student artwork

Saxon student artwork

Saxon student artwork

During the live auction portion, South principal Lara Tiffin will share plans for the new college and career center named for dedicated South volunteer Celia Baculi. Celia's College and Career Center will provide accessible resources to students as they make career and higher education decisions. It has been one of SSF's primary goals to make this happen and we are beyond excited!

To cap off the evening, the performance in the new Rose Auditorium will include a scene enactment by 2010 alumus Zach Dufault, and musical selections by 1984 alumus Sherry Summerville and her jazz trio. Sherry and Zach will be joined by the current Southernaires.

Zach Dufault

Zach grew up here in Salem and was involved with many activities. He played three sports and was also in choir throughout school. Zachs' real love though was the storytelling. Whether it was Luke Skywalker battling Darth Vader on the Death star or Robin Williams telling his students to "seize the day!" in Dead Poets Society, He loved it all. He was fortunate enough to have a family that enjoyed going to the theater where they attended plays and musicals at all of Salem's established theaters which opened him up to the world of Theater. It wasn't until college that Zach took the plunge and decided to take an acting class. His teacher at Western Oregon University, Ted DeChatelet was a great teacher and a big inspiration for Zach to decide acting was his career. He then moved to Los Angeles and studied for 8 years where he fell in love with the craft of Acting. While in school he met Dennis Nollete and they shot "How it all Began." This was supposed to be for a school film festival but morphed into an amazing experience for Zach where he learned and grew a lot as both and actor and human being. If you are interested, you can watch " How it all Began." on Amazon and YouTube! He is now back in Salem and wants to pay forward all that he has learned. He hopes that this school can be a safe haven for students all over Salem where they can discover and grow their gifts.

Sherry Summerville

Sherry began her professional performing journey playing lead roles in musicals in Portland.

Considered a triple threat, she dominated the stage with her rich alto voice, her strong ability to dance, and enthusiastic character portrayals. Her prominent presence in the Portland Musical Theater scene attracted representatives from Carnival Cruise Lines and later she moved to Florida to perform for Carnival Cruise Lines as a singer and dancer. Upon returning to Oregon, Sherry began singing in the vocal jazz trio: Euphoria. She would continue to sing throughout the Northwest with the group for ten years. They produced one album. Sherry has performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam, South Holland, and The Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland. Additionally, she has performed at many festivals through the Northwest including the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival and The Cathedral Park Jazz Festival. Sherry recently recorded her first solo, self-titled, album, showcasing her most requested songs, her rich alto voice, and a vast range of musical styles.

Mike Lowery

Mike is a 1984 graduate of South Salem High School. He began playing drums at age 7, taking private lessons until his late teens. He played and recorded with several bands in his teens and twenties before moving to Los Angeles for work and to pursue music. After 16 years in Los Angeles, Mike moved back home to Salem in 2011 to marry his wife, Jane (Jolliff), also a 1984 graduate of South. They love spending time with their first grandchild with the second on the way this spring! Mike is now a real estate professional in Salem and is currently the drummer in two Salem area bands, JFK and Fam Jam.

The entire event will be fun and relaxing as we gather to celebrate the rich history of South in our community. To learn more and purchase your tickets ($25), click on the button below.

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