Agustina, Class of 2020, reads a lesson at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Chestnut Hill.

For the 6th year in a row, St. James School teamed up with the English-Speaking Union (Philadelphia Branch) and the Society of St. George, Philadelphia to host a festive Christmas event, raising funds for student scholarships.

On Sunday December 3, over 120 guests gathered at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill for “A Victorian Christmas.” The evening began with a beautiful Advent Service of Lessons and Carols, featuring an extraordinary 70-member choir, as well as St. James student acolytes. After the service, Head of School Dave Kasievich and 8th grade student Mackenzie recognized two honorees for their many contributions to St. James School: Mark Green, Democratic 38th Ward Leader, and Greg Moore of Moore Brothers Wine Company, both long-time supporters and advocates of the school.

Honoree Greg Moore (center) is presented with a framed map of the school by (left to right) The Rev. Frank Allen, Assistant Head of School Dave McDonough, Mackenzie, Class of 2018, and Head of School Dave Kasievich.

Guests filed out of the church, following a path of luminaries and the tunes of bagpiper Jim Tuner to the Parish Hall for a cocktail reception and dinner. The theme was brought to life with gorgeous Victorian-style decorations, Christmas crackers on the table, and traditional carolers roaming the room singing. St. Nicholas even made an appearance!

Guests Diane and Dick Cole enjoy the party, decked out in traditional Victorian attire.

Guests enjoyed buying raffle tickets for a chance to bring home ornate Christmas cakes, mingling with St. James School teachers and staff, and participating in a spirited silent auction, bidding on everything from a Brent Celek-autographed football to a private tour of the Winterthur Museum. Volunteer auctioneer George McNeely led the bidding for four popular live auction items, including a week-stay on Sanibel Island, Florida, which was sold not once, but twice!

Thanks to the generosity of many, and the leadership of Event Chairs George and Ronna Tyndall, the event raised $35,000 for student scholarships, and was one of the most successful Christmas events to date.

The event raised over $35,000 for St. James School student scholarships.

Special thanks to the many individuals who made this evening possible, including:

  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Chestnut Hill and their dedicated staff, especially: The Rev. Cliff Cutler, Rector, Zach Fritsch-Hemenway, Arabella Pope, and Virginia Emlen
  • The Rev. W. Frank Allen
  • The Rev. G. Clayton Ames
  • The Rev. Andrew Kellner
  • The Rev. Anne Thatcher
  • Elijah Bryant, Class of 2019
  • Agustina Ocasio, Class of 2020
  • George McNeely

Event Committee

  • George and Ronna Tyndall, Chairs
  • Bill Bodine
  • Bob Brano
  • Pat Bushyager
  • Dr. Audrey Evans
  • Judith Francis
  • Hon. Oliver St. Clair Franklin, OBE
  • Susan Gerrity
  • Peter Reichner Hill
  • Roshonda Jones
  • David Kasievich
  • Sheila Leith
  • Angie McCole
  • Bill Mignucci
  • Steve and Allyson Ross
  • Bill Thompson
  • Margaret Wallis

Event Sponsors

  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Chestnut Hill
  • Di Brunos Bros.
  • Moore Brothers Wine Company

Financial Sponsors

Saint Nicolas Sponsors $5000+

Gordon and Patricia Fowler
George and Ronna Tyndall

Elf Sponsors $1000

        Steve and Allyson Ross
        Margaret B. Wallis

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