For the past 65 years, Iron River School has always held its fundraising silent auction in conjunction with their Christmas concert which was a huge community event. However, because of the pandemic, they are now taking their auction online.
Parents involved with the Parent Council Association say it was a big learning curve last year, however, they still had a successful auction, and this year they hope to raise even more funds to help build a new playground.
Alisha Kunec is the Vice President of the Parent Council Association for Iron River School.
“It’s been really well received and we actually ended up making more money than we’ve ever made before last year,” Kunec told Lakeland Connect. “And we’re anticipating that this year we’ll have even more money hopefully.”
As of Friday, November 26, the auction had 120 items.
“The community has been so generous, like the businesses and the donors and even just individuals coming forward wanting to donate. It’s amazing,” Kunec said. “The community involvement we get here is genuinely enthusiastic, they want to hear all about the auction, and it is just been really well received in the community. The donors have been amazing.”
The Parent Council Association for Iron River School fundraises for anything that falls beyond what the standard operating budget is for the school and the district. That’s why this silent auction is so important.
“Anything that the school needs, so whether that be library books or musical instruments, or gym equipment we provide,” Kunec said. “Our gym equipment was getting quite outdated, last year for our 2020 auction, we were able to purchase $8,000 worth of new gym equipment for the school.”
Kunec says a lot of equipment was completely exhausted and they were able to upgrade and get brand new equipment. But gym equipment wasn’t the only item they purchased through fundraising.
“With our 2020 auction, we were able to buy early reader books, new library books, sensory equipment, and new musical instruments. We bought a whole big set of ukuleles for the music class,” Kunec told Lakeland Connect.
Last year’s auction was able to raise $10,000, however, a caring community member stepped up and doubled that number.
“We had a community member come forward and he said I will match what you made on the auction. So we ended up making $10,000 twice,” Kunec said.
The silent auction is working with a really great streamlined platform Kunec told Lakeland Connect which makes bidding easy.
“It’s through elevate auctions, which is out of Calgary. So we have a website and everything is just online. It’s very streamlined. You can register and then as soon as bidding starts you can do it on your phone or your computer. And if you’re outbid you get a text notification that just says would you like to increase your bid,” Kunec said. ‘You can be out and about while bidding on this auction, while you’re doing your errands and it goes for eight days.”
Another feature about the auction which Kunec says they are excited about is there’s a donate you’re losing bid feature.
“If somebody has been bidding on something and they don’t get it, at the end they’re like well, you know, it would have been nice to give some money to the school. They have that option as well to just bid or just give a straight donation,” Kunec said.
The auction starts on December 4 at 9:00 a.m. till December 12 at 9:00 p.m.
Kunec says to stay tuned to the website for the auction items to appear. Lakeland Connect will be live on November 30, with a sneak peek from the prize room.
“So right now if you go to the website, all you’ll see is just the information about the online auction and that sort of stuff, but the auction items won’t appear until closer to the start date. I have been giving sneak peeks here and there through the Iron River Facebook page,” Kunec said. “It’s a really varied auction, we have a wide selection of things electronics, toys, home décor, we even have a hunting knife. We have a couple of meat packages as well, so it’s got something for everyone, even gravel, somebody donated two and 12 and a half-ton dump truckloads full of gravel. So it’s got everything.”