The Chilmark Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is looking to raise funds for the Chilmark Outing Program, along with several other elements of academic enrichment.
This year, the Chilmark PTO was forced to pivot away from the usual annual in-person bash the town holds each year for the Hearts of Gold Bids for Kids auction, and onto an online format.
“It’s one of those events in town that is like the big annual bash. Even if your kid doesn’t go to school, you hear about it, and you go. Everyone comes out for that one big night, shares some food, drinks, dancing, and raises money,” Allison Cameron Parry, Chilmark PTO member, told The Times. “There is always live music and live auctioneering; it is really a memorable night.”
The annual goal for the auction is $20,000, which Cameron Parry said is met each year. But now, the event is “venturing into the world of virtual online auctions” by using an online bidding platform, handbid.com.
The event started on March 15, and will be open until March 21, with a wide variety of auction items available, including a signed Boston Bruins jersey, a two-night stay at the Harbor View Hotel, and local artwork signed by artists such as Michael Blanchard.
All proceeds from the auction go to providing opportunities for students, both inside and outside the classroom.
Through the Chilmark Outing Program, students are able to take enrichment trips during the school year. Outings like a weeklong Shenandoah trip, a kayak trip with Island Spirit Kayak, and a ski trip are all funded by the Bids for Kids auction each year. Unlike other Island schools, Chilmark takes the Shenandoah trip during the school year, in order to complement experiential learning with a set academic curriculum.
The auction also garners funds for community luncheons sponsored by Island Grown Initiative, and allows classrooms the opportunity to invest leftover money in whatever they choose related to educational advancement.