Columbia Catholic's auction proceeds will go to improvements

Friday, March 13, 2009 | 11:40 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA —Columbia Catholic School wants new doors and electronic locks to improve security at the school, and a large part of the proceeds from its annual Pot O’ Gold Auction on Saturday will go toward those changes.

The auction has been held every year for eight or nine years, said Principal Linda Garner. With the school's 50th anniversary coming up in 2010, there is a desire to improve the school as much as possible. Home and School, a parents' organization, also wants to enhance landscaping and appearance of the campus, the group's president, Tony Spicci, said.

If you go

What: Pot O' Luck Auction to benefit Columbia Catholic School. Big-ticket items include vacations, prime parking spots at the school and invitations to social events hosted by parishioners.

When: 6 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Boone County Fairgrounds, 5212 N. Oakland Gravel Road

Tickets: $25 by stopping by there, 817 Bernadette Drive

Other information: 

Four silent auctions: general store, including art pieces, food and gift certificates; sports and leisure, including tickets to sporting events, tanning passes and sports memorabilia; children's corner, including birthday parties, book collections and furniture; and super silent, including paintings, health services and gift certificates.

Sparkling champagne dreams: This raffle involves buying a glass of champagne, with which comes with a pair of earrings for $20. If the earrings are red, one advances to the next round where one selects a key. One key opens the "treasure chest," and the winner receives a diamond cross pendant.

'80s dance party: $50 tickets will be sold to the dance party for adults held in August for only the first 200 people.

Bidding frenzy: This is part of the live auction, in which the auctioneer announces various gift cards at face value. The first bidder wins.

Pot O' Gold raffle: 300 tickets are sold for $100 each, with a grand prize of $7,500.

Fund-A-Need: This is a specific part of the auction where bidders can offer to donate money or pay for a specific part of the need.

Columbia Catholic School Market Place: This is a store selling signature items with CCS logos. These items are not normally offered.

At the same time, the safety committee, which includes police officers, looked at the physical campus and the security features. Spicci said they have done this in past years, but because the neighborhood has new businesses, several people thought a thorough review was particularly important.

"We've always had a security plan," Spicci said. He emphasized that there was no particular cause that led to looking into security; rather, he said, it was a regular procedure that coincided with improving the look of the school as well.

A specific portion of the live auction, Fund-A-Need, will raise money for the safety and security of the school. The money will be used to pay for new doors, electronic locks and more fencing around the premises. If they can, they also want to install security cameras, Garner said.

“We have a very modest goal — it’s only $75,000 — and in the last few years, we’ve exceeded that significantly," Spicci said. "We’ve raised over $100,000 in at least the last two or three years. Obviously, this year we don’t know if we’ll hit that, but, again, that’s not our goal."

Earnings from the auction that are not used from the Fund-A-Need will be used at the discretion of Home and School, which "fills in the gaps," Spicci said. Their funds contribute to wherever there is the most need.

“We help subsidize field trips; we help subsidize teacher development, professional development; we help subsidize student development,” said Spicci.

Tickets to the event are $25 per person. As of Thursday, they had sold 350 of the 600 tickets available, Garner said. In past years, the fundraiser has been held in Midway and at the school itself. This year they are moving to the Boone County Fair Grounds. This has allowed them to more than double the possible seating. Last year, at the Midway venue, they could only seat 250.

“It’s just the local community getting together, having a good time, raising money,” Spicci said.

Garner agreed, and he stressed the need to include new parents in the community.

“We are a larger school, when you think of a Catholic school,” Garner said. “We’re the largest school in the (Diocese of Jefferson City) with 604 children here. Having someone new come in, it seems kind of intimidating, but this is a great opportunity for them to come in and feel a part of a smaller wonderful building community.”

The Pot O’ Gold Auction will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Boone County Fairgrounds. Spicci said he expects the auction will sell out or come close before the event.


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