By Darren Lum
Despite the swirling uncertainties of what will and what won’t happen this school year, the Archie Stouffer Elementary School graduation committee is pushing forward with efforts to fundraise for graduating students with an online silent auction.
There’s a distinct possibility there won’t be the conventional graduation ceremony this coming spring for Minden’s Grade 8 students, but work still needs to proceed in the case it does go ahead so students’ efforts are recognized, said grad committee’s Cheryl Hamilton.
“Grade 8 is such a stepping stone for all students and after such a hard year, we want to give each and every one of them something to remember,” Hamilton wrote in an email. “To be honest, we do not even know what this looks like currently. With June only a few months away, we are hopeful for a traditional graduation ceremony and celebration but nothing is guaranteed as we all know. And if the traditional graduation is not possible, we want to give these students a lasting memory.”
She encourages the community to support this fundraiser with donations.
Those interested are asked to contact Hamilton as soon as possible at (705) 455-2500 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hamilton said typically fundraising for the Grade 8s would have started earlier in the school year and has included “pop sales,” which are events where students can buy pizza, popcorn and hot lunches.
“Knowing that this year was going to be a challenge for any sort of fundraising we wanted to get things rolling sooner than later,” she wrote.
She adds with her background in social media marketing and experience running auctions before that an online auction was the only option for fundraising.
“It took some time getting confirmation regarding how online payment through the school would work but as soon as that was finalized, we hit the ground running. An email was sent to all Grade 8 graduating parents/guardians and the support has been overwhelming,” she wrote.
Hamilton said the response from the community has so far been phenomenal.
“We have a messenger group with Grade 8 parents/guardians in it and the donations just keep flowing in every day! We are accepting monetary donations, gift certificates and new items or items in ‘exceptional’ condition. Please note that while we would love to accept everything, it is hard to auction used items (especially electronics) due to the warranty/follow up on any item that may not work properly after it is has been purchased,” she wrote.
Hamilton, who hopes to have all donations by Feb. 15, is putting together packages to auction off and taking the requisite images. She said she will accept donations the rest of the week.
The auction goes live on Facebook starting on March 1 and will close on March 15. All details regarding rules, how to bid, how to pay will be posted to the Facebook group titled, ASES 2021 GRAD (www.facebook.com/ASES-2021-GRAD-Auction-101170148629937).