Gladhander Auction and Raffle

Gladhander 2021
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1

Planning this year’s Gladhander included many moments of uncertainty due to the continued coronavirus pandemic. In the end, though, we were not only able to hold a festive in-person event with more than 450 guests, we were also able to extend the event’s reach to hundreds more bidders online.

Thanks to you, we were able to achieve net proceeds of $424,068. 

Raffle ticket sales were robust with 2,597 sold (slightly less than last year’s record number).

Raffle Winners

Early Bird $500

  • Mitch Pasinski, Traverse City

$500 Cash Prize

  • MaryLou Middleton, Traverse City
  • Danielle Ehardt, Traverse City
  • Sisters of Life, Suffern, NY
  • John Lyman, Traverse City
  • Michelle Brockie, Traverse City
  • Linda Smyka, Traverse City

$1000 Cash Prize

  • Michelle Cronin, Traverse City
  • Jeff Pasche, Suttons Bay
  • Bill and Jamie Kern, Suttons Bay
  • Ryan Kennedy, Traverse City

Grand Prize Winner

  • Michael Evans, Frankfort, MI – Chose $35,000

Gladhander proceeds are primarily directed to support GTACS teacher salaries and student scholarship opportunities. It is one of the longest-running school fundraising events in
Michigan, with more than $13 million in earnings over 39 years in support of the Catholic school system. Gladhander represents a significant source of funding for the preschool through 12th grade parochial school system which is not taxpayer-funded.

Thank you for your support, and mark your calendar for our 40th annual Gladhander scheduled to take place on October 29, 2022. 

Auction Site

Theme: Off to the Races
Date: October 30, 2021
Changes: Online and in-person plus new top raffle prize of car, boat, or $35,000 in cash

What is Gladhander (Part I) 

Gladhander is our school’s largest fundraiser. It originated in 1983 when the school faced a serious budget shortfall. That first successful year not only saved our schools but resulted in a one-of-a-kind celebration that’s become part of the fabric of our school system ever since. Gladhander has raised more than $12 million through the years and is a key source of revenue for GTACS, which is not taxpayer-funded. Click to watch the history of Gladhander video.

What is Gladhander (Part II) 

Gladhander is many things! First and foremost, it’s a celebration of our Catholic schools during the “main event” on October 30. It’s also an online auction featuring more than 400 items valued from $25 to $45,000. ANYONE can bid on these items using our auction platform, Registration to the bidding site is free. Gladhander is also an exciting raffle where the top prize is the choice of a new car, boat or $35K in cash! Raffle tickets can be purchased by calling (231) 941-GLAD.

How to I purchase Gladhander raffle tickets? 

The Gladhander raffle ticket is legendary for its fabulous top prize selections – choice of a JEEP Gladiator 4 x 4, REGAL Sport Boat, or $35,000 in cash! There are ten additional cash prize drawings of $500 or $1000 each. Last year, we sold a record number of tickets (2691) and this year’s goal is 3,000. Tickets are one for $125, two for $200, or three for $250. You can pay by check payable to GTACS with Gladhander raffle tickets on the memo line or by calling the Gladhander office to arrange credit card payment. You’ll need to fill out a ticket stub for each ticket purchased. Be sure to get it turned in by September 25 for a chance at the extra $500 early bird drawing.

What can I do to help with Gladhander this year? 

Gladhander is looking for item donations, plus volunteers to help with everything from raffle blitzes to decorations to spotters or meal servers and day-after distribution. We have the motto, “Many hands make for light work,” and it’s true! You can also help with this important mission by inviting others to register for the online auction and bid on items and/or by purchasing raffle tickets!

Gladhander General Volunteer Link

Click to see Gladhander job descriptions and sign up to volunteer.  If you have questions, email Lori Adams at, or call the Gladhander office at (231) 941-GLAD.

Where does Gladhander take place? 

This year’s Gladhander takes place both online and in-person (at St. Francis High School). The online auction will kick off on September 27 with early bird items, then the main auction will open online on October 18. The online auction concludes at the end of the in-person event which is being held on October 30. Anyone can register (for free) then bid on items at

What is this year’s Gladhander theme? 

This year’s theme is “Off to the Races” which encompasses many iconic competitive events. Think Tour de France, America’s Cup, Indy 500, or the Iditarod – to name a few! Guests will be immersed in an exciting atmosphere that will include a gourmet meal and beverages, interactive games, auction item displays, and prize drawings!

How can I attend Gladhander? 

To be a guest at the Gladhander main event, purchase tickets ($175 each) by calling (231) 941-GLAD. You can pay by check or credit card. Cannot attend the main event? Consider coming to Preview Night on the Friday before Gladhander, 5:30-9:00 pm, where you’ll get a glimpse of the décor and item displays, plus be able to view items and purchase raffle tickets. Gladhander main event is a black-tie optional and includes drinks and hors d’oeuvres, a gourmet meal, dessert, and late-night buffet.

What are the dates of Gladhander this year?

The first important date is September 25, which is when we’ll conduct the Early Bird drawing for $500 from among all raffle tickets sold to-date. Then, on September 27, the online auction platform will open for bidding with some special “early bird” items only. Our main auction items go live and are open to the public for bidding beginning on October 18 and closing on October 30. October 30 is also when the in-person event occurs and the drawings for the other cash prizes and grand prize will take place.

Or visit our Auction site to view the items and their final purchase price at

Gladhander 2020 Recap – Results for 2021 will be announced on November 13

In at least one respect, Gladhander 2020 was a lot like every other one: Failure to meet the budget shortfall was not an option in 1983, and it was not an option in 2020. After all, nearly one-third of our students receive some level of tuition assistance; both the frequency and dollar level of financial requests have increased during the pandemic.

Fortunately, despite all of the challenges of the pandemic, 2020 was an incredibly positive year for us at Gladhander. Our new online auction platform proved very user-friendly and made it possible for anyone, anywhere to view and bid on items.  At-home Hootenannies celebrated the togetherness for which Gladhander is known. Our raffle ticket sales hit a record new level (2691 tickets sold) – a tribute to Jim Beckett (1922-2020).

Donations to our scholarship fund and our fund for housing for the Dominican Sisters were also spectacular. It was an awesome display of community support, and we were humbled by it.

Thanks to you, we were able to achieve a net proceeds level of $403,258.

LICENSE # C29626

Final drawing was held on Auction Night, October 24, 2020
$500 winners: Barb Grewe, Jacob Schaub, Jacklyn Clever, Tom Read, Tim Brick, and Amanda Hemgesberg
$1,000 winners: Mike and Mary Surgalski, Dan Stoudt, Sr., Susan Pennell, and Steven Oklat.
The Early Bird Drawing was held on October 2; congratulations to our $500 prize winner, Julie Erhardt from Gaylord!
Grand prize winner: Joan Ferrari of Elk Rapids
Congratulations, and thank you to everyone who bought tickets this year!