2019 FSS Auction

Muqi Guo, Staff Writer

On March 15th, Friends Select School hosted an auction night at Logan Hotel to raise money that goes toward the annual fund. As the biggest fundraiser of the year, the auction had many items sponsored by companies or teachers. The money raised will be distributed to sports, curricular development and many other programs within the school.

The event was organized by the Parent Association, led by co-chairs Ashley Dickinson (parent ‘31) and Alexis Pappas (parent ‘30). According to Alexis, “We do all the planning, behind-the-scenes work, the fundraising, asking people to donate, getting sponsors, setting up this beautiful space.

Ashley said, “The school auction is an opportunity for parents, faculty, and staff to get together to raise money for our students, so whether that’s the program, or it’s through extra resources in the library, or in the theater, or in the steam lab. One hundred percent of the fund goes back to the school. So it’s a very rewarding and fun experience to be able to do that all as one together.

The money was raised through various ways. Alexis explained, “So it’s a combination. We have the ticket sales but also we reach out to all the organizations that sponsored us in the past, ask them to donate again, so that’s a big part of it, the sponsorships. And then we also reach out to the people who have donated tickets to the theater in the past or any number of packages or items that we had in the past. We reach out to those people ask them to donate again. And then through our own connections, we reach out to other people that we think it would be a good fit for the auction. They would offer something that would be bringing in lots of money for us basically.”

The auction committee worked hard all year to make the night happen. According to Ashley, “This (auction) doesn’t just happen in a month. The school and the auction committee started working on this as early as the summer before, so it’s a lot of preparation, and it’s a lot of time and energy, It’s a lot of volunteering hours. But when it comes down to it’s worth it.” The committee also put a lot of effort in inviting people to attend. Alexis said, “We sent out numerous emails through the marketing department out to the school and also the Friends Select community, so parents, grandparents, anyone who’s involved in our community gets an email invited. Then we also have a facebook event page where I’ve been posting everything about the event. The school has a facebook page as well where we’ll constantly attaching the link to purchase tickets, and then we’ve just been reaching out to family and friends because we opened this up to the whole (community).”

Another integral part of the night is the students’ participation. The students’ choir performed during the auction. One of the performer, Avery Johnson(‘19) said: “A lot of the art is student(-made)stuff, so I think that people would maybe buy them as  encouragements to the students.” According to Alexis, about 20 students were volunteering on auction night. The experiences are rewarding too for the students. According to Margot Schneider(‘22), one of the student volunteers, I think it’s really cool to get involved with extracurriculars and like go to school events and I think that it’s a way to sort of put yourself out there more and get practice talking to people and I think it’s just a good experience.”

The auction night is not only an innovative way of bringing people together, but it’s also a very effective way of supporting the community and showing the outside what Friends Select community can accomplish. Michael Gary, the Head of School said: “Whenever we are asking parents and alumni to contribute, it’s important, cause it goes to build the community and helping us to support the many programs for students. So the auction is a way for us to come together have a good time at the same time raise fund to help support the programs that we have at friends select.”

Having the community coming together also ultimately benefit the community itself. Naté Hall, Associate Director of College Planning said, “I think it’s really important, it gives people a venue for people to have fun, and they see that Friends Select is not just about school all the time and seriousness. It gets us all together, so you see our community. So I think that the community piece is what makes it the most important. Having us all come together around a common event around the school benefits ultimately the students, that’s why we are here, we are here for the students. ”

The auction proved to be successful. According to Molly Mullahy, Director of Parent Programs, “It is safe to say $100,000 I won’t have the final number until the summer.”