Maude, Music, and Montessori 2013

Armatage Benefit Event Most Successful Yet

This year, two new events brought in new energy – an online auction for teacher donations, and a large silent auction at the event. Each auction raised over $5,000, and helped uncover many gifts and talents we have within the Armatage Montessori community!  Combine the auction proceeds with ticket sales - which sold out online for the first time in the event's history - beverage sales, and donations, the M3 activites made just under $20,000 – this is $6,000 more than last year!

In past years, Armatage families have raised the grand total after the event, because many of those who were unable to attend the event chose to donate directly our foundation, AchieveMinneapolis. If you are still inclined to give, or if you decide that you would like to donate the amount you bid for silent auction items you did not win, please know that your gift is still very welcome... especially in light of the dire budget situation this year. Click the "Donate" icon to the right; be sure to designate your gift to a MPS School, and type "Armatage - Maude" in the memo line.

Our Generous Sponsors:

Thank you to our host Café Maude. Owner Kevin Sheehy, and the staff who worked on the night off to make it an unforgettable evening! Chef Matt, Manager Sarafina, Chef Craig, Patrick, Elliott, Juan, Ashley, and Kat. The people of this restaurant provide an enviable partnership with our school. For four years Café Maude has shared its beautiful space for our fundraiser. Please remember to visit Café Maude - especially this summer while Penn Avenue is under construction.

Ken Wills, the owner of Cave Vin French restaurant , on 56th and Xerxes, has supported Armatage in hugely generous ways. Cave Vin has DONATED all of the French beverages for the past four events. If you’re wondering where to go for a delicious French meal, you have to try Cave Vin.


There were dozens of local businesses who contributed to the event and/or donated to the silent auction. Pam McCarthy-Kern, parent to an Armatage alum, provided event flowers. Breadsmith provided desserts. Dunn and Semington printed our beautiful posted at reduced rates.  Click here to view the full list of silent auction items donated. Please let these businesses know that you appreciate their support of our school

The People Behind M3

The teacher auction idea was brought to the committee by Annalise Munnich, a parent who is also a teacher. When we approached Principal Joan Franks and the staff about the idea, the response was amazing! The teachers brainstormed creative ideas that really appealed to our families. 100% of the K-5 teachers, plus Principal Franks and many staff members, participated! The second part of the success was that it was available online for the whole community. That could not have happened without Kristen and Matt Milner, who designed software to keep track of the bidding real-time. Thank you so much Kristen, Annalise, Matt and ALL the teachers for a successful and fun way to bring us together while raising money for the school.

The Silent Auction had not been a part of the event until last year, when volunteer extraordinaire Jill DeSanto took the initiative to ask local restaurants to contribute gift cards and had a great response. This year, Jill teamed up with Brenna Campbell, who chaired the silent auction and made it a smashing success. The auction boasted over 50 items from local enthusiastic businesses. Because Brenna described each item so well, the bidding wars were hot for almost every one! Graphic designer Mike Hermansen created a cohesive look for all the displays that evening which tied into the event posters created by graphic designer Michael Byzewski. Thank you Mike and Michael – our event looked so much more professional with your design. Thank you so much, Brenna and Jill. You have done amazing work in every aspect of the event, and the Silent Auction literally would not have happened without you. Jill’s desserts were delicious and sized just right, too.

Proceeds from the event pass through Achieve Minneapolis, an organization which supports MPS in many ways, including acting as Armatage's fiscal agent for direct-to-school donations. Kai Gudmestad has been our trusty liaison with Achieve MPLS for two years. Thank you, Kai, for not only coming up with good ideas for the financial success of the event, but also cheerfully doing so many of them yourself.

Kari Augdahl, our volunteer coordinator, made sure we had volunteers, and that they knew what to do ahead of time. Volunteers at this event usually have fun, but because of her planning, there was no stress during the event.

I have been involved in the event since the beginning, but this year, I feel like this capable M3 committee built on what had been done and made it so much better. 


Thank you to B-Team and Tommy Barbarella. The music was played by a three musicians who’ve known each other for a long time, but we had the benefit of experiencing their premier performance together. George Scot McKelvey and Billy Johnson have rocked the house for us for four years as the B-Team. They play together, on solo projects, and with several other groups around town including H$B and Billy Johnson Road Show. George is connected to the school as an uncle to an Armatage student, and Billy knows several families through his youth ministry work at Mount Olivet. This year an Armatage parent joined them – Tommy Elm aka Tommy Barbarella. He has played keyboards for international sensations such as Prince and the Revolution and Nick Jonas. He also has composed a lot of his own work which you can find on YouTube.

Thank you to our Emcee. Our evening M.C. was Star/Tribune columnist and Armatage uncle, James Lileks. He spoke about the need for raising money with his famous wit.

If you couldn’t hear James or other speakers over the rowdy crowd, parents, that means you need to get out more! When you do, think about visiting the places who donated so generously to our event.