Cardinal Auction and Social

Book your babysitters and put on your dancing shoes– it’s Cardinal Elementary’s biggest party of the year!
What: In addition to a silent and live auction, this adults-only event will also include an open bar, appetizers, LIVE music, dancing, and a photo booth.
When:  April 19th, 2024, 7-11pm
Where: Knights of Columbus, Arlington
Why: To raise money for the PTA
Theme and Dress Code: This year’s theme is “The Cardinal Eras Tour: Soaring through the Decades.” No, it’s not a Taylor Swift party…but you can certainly make it one. Come dressed as your favorite celebrity or band from any decade, or just wear something that’s a nod to a particular decade. Don’t want to dress up? No problem. In the words of one of our favorite 90’s singers, come as you are!
Tickets can be purchased here.

Keep reading for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.


Auction FAQs

Why do we host an auction? What are the proceeds from the auction used for?

2023 was the first year that Cardinal held a fundraising auction, and this is one of the top questions we received. Many don’t realize how much the Cardinal PTA, which is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, does in support of our students, staff, and community, or how critical the auction funds are to this support. The auction is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and we rely on it for funding our annual PTA budget (which was depleted during COVID years when fundraising was limited).

The annual PTA budget is used for funding our school supply stipends for teachers; teacher grants, support and appreciation; field trips; staff training; needs-based scholarships for student enrichment classes and other activities; school events; supplies and equipment. This year the PTA is also funding class field trips for two Title I elementary schools in Arlington (who don’t have a fundraising vehicle of their own), which we’re particularly excited about.

All of the profit from the auction goes directly back to our students, teachers, and school community. For more details about what your donation supports, please see this post from Sarah Van Velsor, former PTA President, in our PTA The PTA budget is also reviewed at each monthly PTA meeting, which all are welcome to join.

Aside from fundraising, the auction is a tremendous community building event. It’s a ton of fun, and a great way to socialize (kid-free!!) with friends in the Cardinal community as well as make new connections.

What should I wear and bring to the auction? 

“Decades” attire is highly encouraged but certainly not required. Otherwise, any type of cocktail attire is perfect. Please bring a fully charged mobile phone, as all silent auction bidding will happen online via your phone. We will have a charging station, but plugs are limited.

What does my ticket include?

Each ticket includes full access to our silent and live auction, open bar, appetizers and desserts, photo booth, live music and dancing!

We’re excited that this year’s auction will feature a local favorite band, Champagne Velvet. They’ll be playing a mix of favorites from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s.  

When should I arrive?

The party will be from 7-11pm. Check-in will start promptly at 7pm, and we hope you’ll arrive as close to 7 as possible to maximize your fun! We highly encourage you to pre-register online as an online bidder, saving you time during check-in. You can do this via the “Get Started” button on the bidding site, which will open up closer to the event (we’ll send a reminder to all who’ve purchased tickets). However, we’ll have multiple check-in stations to keep things moving quickly.

What is the timeline for the evening?

The silent auction will open a couple of days before the event and continue online through Friday evening. The silent auction will close in two phases—at 9pm, all silent auction items except Parent Parties, Class/Teacher Experiences and our luxury vacations will close. Parent Parties, Class/Teacher Experiences and Luxury Vacation bidding will continue until 9:15pm. The Live Auction will begin around 9:40, during which we’ll auction off some of our most exciting packages. And throughout the entire event, the band will be playing great dance music, and appetizers, desserts and an open bar will be available. Because of this, it’s an adults-only event.

How does the silent auction work?

All of the silent auction bidding will be done online, which means even during the party on Friday night, you’ll be bidding straight from your phone. We’ll also have some tangible items on display for you to view in person. You’ll have the opportunity to pre-register before the event so you’ll be ready to bid. Once the bidding starts, our online bidding system will notify you if you’ve been “outbid” on an item you’re interested in, so you can still enjoy the party while the silent auction is underway.

If I don’t want to buy anything at the auction, can I still donate to the PTA?

Of course! On the Purchase Tickets site, there’s an option to “Make a Donation”. You can then enter the amount you’d like to donate. There’s also no obligation to bid on anything if you attend the auction, so we encourage you to still attend even if you aren’t interested in any items. It’s such a fun time and a great community building opportunity. Many lasting friendships have been born from the Auction!

Can I invite non-Cardinal friends and family to attend the auction with me?

Yes, the more the merrier! You are welcome to purchase tickets for as many guests as you’d like.

I’d like to attend the auction, but I can’t afford the tickets.

We want this to be a fun community event for all Cardinal parents. If you would like to attend the auction but cannot afford to purchase a ticket, let us know and we’ll be sure you get a ticket. Simply send an email to Ryan Armstrong at

Are Cardinal Teachers and Staff invited to the auction?

Yes, teachers and staff are invited to the auction and many attended last year. We offer free tickets to teachers and staff, and discounted tickets for their guests.

What is the Wine Wheel?  Can I donate wine and spirits?

Back by popular demand, this year’s auction will include the famous Cardinal Auction Wine/Spirit Wheel! You pay $20 for a spin and take home a bottle of equal or greater value! To make this a success, we seek donations of wine, beer, and/or spirits valued at $20+ — the more bottles, the more fun and successful the game. Please donate a bottle or two (or more) of your favorite wine or spirits. Donations can be dropped off in the collection bin on the porch of either Shakti Shukla Gorcys (5240 11th St N), or Jennifer Delacruz (5815 19th St N), or contact Shakti (917) 952-6661 to arrange pickup of multiple bottles.


Thank you to our 2024 Top Tier Auction Sponsors!


How You Can Help

Contact the program chair(s) if you wish to help.

2023-24 Auction Chair(s)

Ryan Armstrong (
School Directory
Login to search for and contact Cardinal families and staff. Membership Toolkit Login

Stay Connected!
Don't miss out on PTA news and volunteer opportunities.