Congratulations goes to Katie S., Co-Auction Chair for the Harney Elementary School PTO in Vancouver, Wash. Home to almost 700 students, Harney Elementary hosts Vancouver Public Schools’ Spanish Immersion program attracting students and families from across Clark County. Harney is a Title I school, meaning it serves a high percentage of low income students; approximately 65% of students at Harney receive free or reduced lunch. The parents of the Harney PTO strive to enrich the learning experiences of students and teachers.
It's our honor to be able to donate an all-inclusive, weeklong Carnival Cruise for two (valued at over $2,000) for their use in an upcoming fundraiser.
After the drawing, we reached out to Katie to find out more about the cause and how the prize will be used to generate much-needed revenue at their annual auction.
Enriching Educational Experiences for Students & Teachers
"The mission of the Harney Elementary PTO is to promote and encourage communication between parents, teachers, administration, and the community, for the benefit of our students," Katie shares.
The PTO sponsors and organizes fundraising and school events that deepen community spirit. Proceeds from fundraisers go towards the following goals:
- Enrichment: Student enrichment opportunities such as after school clubs, educational and motivational assemblies during and after school; curriculum enhancements with community partners
- Development: Literacy development opportunities for students; professional development for teachers
- Motivation: Student motivation incentives to reward achievement, improvement, and demonstration of Harney Values
6th Annual Harney Auction: 'Derby de Mayo'
For the past 6 years, the Harney PTO has organized a benefit auction for the school. The auction brings in more than $100,000 dollars annually to be spent on literacy development, after school clubs, and a new outdoor walking path and learning space.
This year’s auction, called "Derby de Mayo", was a fusion of the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo.
"To fundraise, we had a silent auction with 50+ items, a live auction with 16 items, and a ton of games to play for prizes," Katie says. The classrooms created beautiful artwork to auction off, while teachers offered up great experiences for families to bid on like:
- Tea party or movie party with your teacher
- PE or Library Assistant for the day
- Principal for the Day - a favorite auction item that raised $700!
To enhance the theme, a youth Mariachi band from another local school district welcomed attendees. Guests enjoyed Mint Juleps, Margaritas, and a Tequila and Mezcal tasting. A highlight of the night: watching a live broadcast of the horse race together. "The energy in the room was amazing," Katie says.
Together with their amazing community, the Harney PTO raised $42,000 in net proceeds for the school - an auction record!
As for the cruise prize? "Since we learned of this awesome give-away from Winspire the day before our auction, we are going to save this as our very first procured item for next year’s 7th Annual Harney Benefit Auction! We already told our audience to save the date because we had a week long cruise for two already on our live auction list for next year, thanks to Winspire," Katie shares.
Ideas & Inspiration from Winspire
"Our biggest challenges were managing our time, staying on task, and delegating duties to a team. Both my co-chair and I work full time in professional careers, and we are involved in the PTO on top of that. The auction was a huge commitment and challenge!" Katie says.
"Being new to the ranks of auction chair, I truly enjoy reading the articles and tips in Winspire News. These short, informational articles have provided inspiration and support for the very daunting task of planning a huge event," she continues.
"We have used Winspire in the past for consignment trips in previous auctions, with great success. This year, we happened to have several trips donated directly to the auction, so our need for consignment wasn’t there. Although we didn’t use Winspire this year for our auction, we are excited to offer it to our bidders next year, and perhaps in the future!"
Be our next winner!
We know many of you have similar stories. The need in your communities keeps growing.
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