Bidding for fun
This Sunday, the Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School will hold a rollicking dance and auction at the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center for the school's second Annual Rock Auction fundraiser. A collaboration of talents and energies of the school's parents and faculty, the event will include a live auction, silent auction, a disco dance party, and refreshments.
This year, Paul Karasik, the school's development director, and in incoming board president Laura Sargent (mother of students Ethan and Gracie Hall), are heading the event working with a committee of the school's parents and faculty. Mr. Karasik and Ms. Sargent will also act as auctioneers.
The annual spring fundraiser draws on different decades of pop music - last year's theme was the music of the 1960s. This year, attendees are encouraged to dress in the costumes of 1970s, and, as their poster instructs, be prepared to "catch 'Sunday Night Fever' on Sunday."
Mr. Karasik says, "When people say I have no 70s clothes, I say just wear the ugliest thing you have. The louder the better."
Fundraising is an essential part of the Charter School's ability to keep its doors open, and last year's event, which was attended by approximately 150 people, raised close to $25,000. For this year's event, the auction has been even more ambitiously planned with hopes of surpassing last year's results. Several of the school's families have pooled their resources and created a $50,000 matching grant, which, depending on how much the items being auctioned raise, has the possibility of bringing in up to $100,000 for the school.
Mr. Karasik promises the event will be, "...more fun than just fundraiser," with prizes, trivia, and games. "Laura and I will put on a skit between each auction item - it's like a vaudeville floor show."
The items donated for auction include one week in Virgin Gorda, a tour of Martha's Vineyard in a private plane piloted by singer/songwriter Livingston Taylor, and despite this season's recent disappointing conclusion, Celtics tickets are being offered for auction with high expectations. People can also bid on such things as a selection of goods and services, an overnight stay and dinner at The Outermost Inn in Aquinnah, a summer's worth of produce and flowers from the Farmer's Market, and a year's worth of coffee from Alley's General Store in West Tisbury.
Iris Grace, a junior at the Charter School, describes the school as being, "... like my family." Her mother, caterer Patrie Grace, is offering a Mexican dinner for 10 for bidding - a response to a trip taken by some Charter School high school students to Tepotzlan, Mexico, where they visited the Tashirat orphanage.