Mardi Gras theme comes to Grand Ridge Elementary School auction

January 24, 2012

By Tom Corrigan

Artwork like this piece, ‘Hands,’ is up for auction to raise money for the Grand Ridge Elementary School PTA. Contributed

A past president of the Grand Ridge Elementary School PTA, Lida Buckner makes no secret of the fact she wants to start a tradition.

Buckner is one of the driving forces behind the school’s first auction event, dubbed Mardi Gras 2012. The fundraiser is split into two parts, an online auction and a live auction event. The online portion of the fundraiser began Jan. 22 and runs through Jan. 29. The live auction is set for Feb. 11 at the Hilton Garden Inn Issaquah.

Buckner said proceeds will benefit science, art and music programs, as well as programs run by the school PTSA.

During the online event, parents and others can bid on 37 original student art projects, one from each classroom in the Issaquah Highlands school. As for the live event, organizers wanted to make it a little different. Buckner said their choice of the Hilton Garden Inn as a venue is another reason the live auction will run a bit unlike similar events parents and others may have seen put together by other schools.

Buckner said that when she and other organizers began looking for a location for the auction, the Hilton made an outstanding offer. Buckner didn’t go into details, but said organizers just couldn’t improve on the Hilton’s bottom line.

If you go

Grand Ridge Auction, Mardi Gras 2012

  • 6:30-10 p.m. Feb. 11
  • Hilton Garden Inn Issaquah
  • 1800 N.W. Gilman Blvd.
  • Tickets for live auction available online at $75 each until Feb. 3 or when 300 tickets have been sold.
  • Go to www.grandridgeptsa.org and click on “auction” to register for the live auction and to see the artworks that are now available.

“We don’t have a huge budget for facilities,” she said.

There did turn out to be a few catches. At least for this event, in the room the school will be using, the Hilton does not have enough space for tables and chairs to accommodate the hoped for gathering of about 300 people representing the 500 or so families of Grand Ridge’s roughly 750 students. The recipe for many school auction fundraisers consists of a sit-down dinner followed by a live auction.

In this case, visitors will enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails as they wander around three tables containing approximately 100 items available for silent auction.

“It’s going to be very different from other events where the auction is the main event,” Buckner said.

After the food and drink and a few comments from Grand Ridge Principal Christy Otley, the live auction will get under way. Buckner said the six large items range from time in vacation homes to a suite for Sounders FC games. A full preview of the items to be available Feb. 11 will be online beginning Jan. 30.

As for the online auction, the student artwork can be viewed online now. The creations vary greatly. For example, “Hands” is a collage of 24 black-and-white photographs of — you guessed it — hands. It was the work of 24 second-graders. As with all the student artwork, the retail value is given as “priceless.”

Overall, Buckner said the fundraising goal is $50,000.

Tom Corrigan: 392-6434, ext. 241, or tcorrigan@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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