SEATTLE – (June 6) Seattle University Athletics' sixth annual Red Tie Celebration was its most successful to date, raising more than $600,000 at the dinner and auction event June 2, 2018, at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.

The fundraising event was highlighted by honoring Father Stephen Sundborg, S.J., as he concludes his 20th year as the university's President. "It's been an extraordinary decade at Seattle University and I'm looking forward to the next decade," Fr. Sundborg said. "We're perched and we're ready. Support from tonight goes to 350 student-athletes who are emerging adults, who are representing our University mission and who are the persons to whom we are dedicated."

Men's soccer junior Sergio Rivas also delivered a powerful speech, sharing his journey to Seattle U and the impact that the university has made on his life. "Every single person in this room has the ability to change a person's life, the way that Seattle University has changed my life – for the better," said Rivas.

The attendees in the room did just that Saturday night. The record amount raised surpassed last year's total by more than $150,000. Top bid live auction items included a six-day cooking school and tour in Italy, donated by Joe and Mary Zavaglia, Alaska Air and Aer Lingus. The highly sough-after package was ultimately doubled, with each trip going for $14,000. A dinner for 10 with Fr. Sundborg at Canlis in Seattle went for $8,000 and an "LA Lakers Dream Package" hosted by Elgin Baylor brought in $18,000.

The signature moment of the night was the annual "Raise the Paddle," which brought in more than $225,000.

"The energy in the room was incredible and really gives affirmation of the direction we are moving as a department and university as a whole," said Director of Athletics Shaney Fink. "We are so grateful for our generous donors and their support of our amazing student-athletes."