20th Annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance

The Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance has now been a spring tradition at Saint Mary’s for 20 years. Each year a dance, featuring a live band, is held in Saint Mary’s gymnasium. Proceeds from the dance and accompanying auction are given to a community member in need. 


*Due to COVID-19 we were unable to hold the 20th Annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance as scheduled. Our hopes are to repeat the 20th anniversary next year with the dance being held on March 20th, 2021. Thank you to everyone who helped support the Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance this year. This website will be updated as we get more information. 

Days until the 2020 Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance









Progress Towards Our Goal of $25,000


For the first time, two beneficiaries will split the proceeds from this year’s event: Gianna Samountry, the younger sister of Saint Mary’s student Logan Samountry, of Richfield, Minn.; and Winonan Sue Schroetke, who has worked in the University’s Maintenance Department for the past nine years.

Samountry, now 11, was treated with chemotherapy for neuroblastoma when she was eight months old and developed a rare autoimmune disorder called paraneoplastic syndrome. As she is paralyzed, on a ventilator, fed through a tube, and has a seizure disorder, she requires 24-hour nursing care. Samountry also has special transportation needs, and the family hopes to use their portion of the proceeds to purchase a handicapped accessible van to take her places she has never previously been able to visit.

Schroetke has battled liver disease for the past 20 years. Although last winter she received a successful transplant, she is hoping to use funding from the benefit to help her with ongoing and mounting medical bills. She also could use a dependable vehicle for her many trips to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and help to repair the leaking roof of her home.

Silent Auction

The 2020 Silent Auction has concluded. Thank you to everyone who donated items to the auction as well as everyone who came and bid! 

The 2021 Silent Auction will take place on March 18 and 19th 2021.

The silent auction for the Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance will be held Thursday and Friday, March 12th and 13th 2020 from 9 AM-3:30 PM each day in the Common Room on the 3rd Floor of Saint Mary’s Hall.  The silent auction has been very successful in the past. We have been blessed with the support of both the Saint Mary’s community and the southeastern Minnesota community, and we hope that we can have that same blessing this year.

We are asking the members of our communities to assist us by donating items to the silent auction. Items we have received in the past have included electronics, dinners, themed baskets, tickets to sporting and music events, and gift cards.

Any donation you can provide would be greatly appreciated by the Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance Committee

The 20th Annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance

Due to COVID-19 we were unable to hold the 20th Annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance as scheduled. Our hopes are to repeat the 20th anniversary next year with the dance being held on March 20th, 2021. Thank you to everyone who helped support the Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance this year. This website will be updated as we get more information. 

The theme of the evening will be “TBD” The Hall of Fame Room in the Toner Student Center will be decorated, complete with a photo booth, and refreshments will be served.

How can you support the Annual Taylor Richmond Benefit?

Attend the dance!
The dance, featuring music by the Johnny Holm Band, will be held in the gymnasium. Ticket prices $25 for the general public/alumni and are available on  Dance tickets will also be available at the door.

Silent Auction Donations
The 2021 silent auction will be held on campus from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, March 18-19. A variety of homemade goods, gift baskets, and specialty items will be on display in the Common Room, located on the third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall. Alumni are welcome to bid. Donations are always needed. Silent Auction Donations can be mailed to:

Mike Ostman
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
700 Terrace Heights #45
Winona MN, 55987

Donate to the Beneficiaries
Monetary donations are always being accepted and go directly to the two beneficiaries. Donations can be mailed to the same address as silent auction items, or can be made online at (not currently accepting donations for 2021)

The Story of the Benefit Dance

This benefit dance has become an annual tradition since it was started by students in 2001 in honor of Taylor Richmond. Taylor was the son of Saint Mary’s staff member Nikki Richmond and was born with ataxia telangiectasia, a degenerative genetic disease that severely limits movement, depresses the immune system and leads to a host of debilitating symptoms.

He was first profiled in 1994 at age 5 in a Daily News story about his parents’ journey to understand his disease, which was first diagnosed as cerebral palsy. Because the disease affects the immune system so severely, many people with it die early in life, just barely out of childhood or as a teenager.

In 2001, many students and staff learned of Taylor’s disease and surprised the Taylor by organizing a formal dance, with all proceeds used to fulfill his dream of going to Disney World.

The next year the dance became an annual tradition, with each year’s benefits going to a different worthy person with connections to the university. Over the years, the benefit has raised tens of thousands of dollars for, among others, a child with cerebral palsy, an employee with breast cancer, a former SMUMN hockey player and Marine veteran injured in Afghanistan, and a SMUMN volleyball player critically injured in a car crash.


Past Beneficiaries

2001- Taylor Richmond: “When You Wish Upon a Star”

2002- Brady Johnson: “A Night At The Drive-In”

2003- August Tadie: “The Love Boat”

2004- Christ the Teacher Institute for Education in Nairobi Kenya: “You’ll Be In My Heart”

2005- Reghann Lafrance: “Reach for the Stars”

2006- Amy Taylor: “Dancing The Journey of Life”

2007- Shelly McMahon: “The Start of Something New”

2008- Steve Groby: “Celebra La Vida”

2009- Gehren Family: “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King”

2010- Griffin Family: “I Know That Every Mile Will Be Worth the While”

2011- Tony Grathen: “All Aboard”

2012- John Misiewicz: “Miracle on Ice”

2013- Sabrina Bushlack-Larson: “Country Strong”

2014- Jason Richter: “Richter’s Field of Dreams”

2015- Conner Turnbell: “Game Day Gala”

2016- Heidi and Linden Johnson: “Night Under the Stars”


2018: Jennifer Martinson: “A Walk Among the Bluffs”

2019: Joseph Row: “Super Joseph’s World”


Social Media and Contact Us


Contact Mike Ostman, Director of Student Activities


Phone: 507.457.1686

Buy your tickets to the 20th Annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance or donate to this year’s beneficiary through University Tickets by clicking the link below in fall 2020