Sacred Heart School raises more than $55,000 with auction

Published 6:46 am Monday, February 15, 2010

ADAMS — While many students sell magazines, coupon books and cookies as a fundraiser, students at Sacred Heart School in Adams raise money for their school by painting.

Three paintings were donated by students, who made them together in art classes.

“Everybody helped with it,” art teacher Sandy Jones said. “There was not anybody left out. Everybody had their brush and was helping.”

The three paintings were sold as part of the school’s 14th annual auction and banquet fundraiser Saturday in Adams. The fundraiser raised more than $55,000, just like it did last year.

The fifth and sixth graders painted a farm scene called “Country Roads” that sold for $375 during the live auction.

This is the second year art classes have donated paintings to be sold during the auction. Jones sketched the scenes on the canvas with pencil. Then three to four students at a time would come up and paint portions of the canvas.

The students started by painting the background and sky. Jones guided the students with her original sketch, and she touched up a few areas on the paintings at the end.

“I tell them, OK let’s paint the sky, and I tell them how to hold their brush,” she said.

Jones also used the project to teach the children about artists. The third and fourth grade students painted boats on a lake that sold during the silent auction. Jones modeled the painting from a piece by Claude Monet.

“We looked at his print and kind of recreated it,” she said.

Third-grader Brittney Ruecher helped paint the boats and the lake. She said the painting took about three weeks for the students to complete.

“I like art,” she said.

The first and second graders painted a picture of sunflowers that also sold during the silent auction. Before working on the painting, Jones talked to the students about Vincent van Goh’s paintings of sunflowers.

The classes are painting the same scene again, except each student is now painting his or her own and will be able to take it home.

The auction and the fall marathon are the two largest fundraisers for the school each year. Volunteer Jane Steinkamp said the day is the largest annual fundraiser for the school. In fact, volunteer Peggy Schmitz said the school prefers to focus fundraising efforts on the auction, rather than student initiatives like selling cookies or magazines.

“We kind of take pride in the fact that we don’t do all these fundraisers throughout the year,” Schmitz said. “We try and keep it limited to the marathon and this auction.”

About 65 items were auctioned off during the live auction, and about 300 items were donated for the silent auction.

Sacred Heart has about 90 students in first grade through eighth grade. Steinkamp said all the parents and students help in some way for the auction.

However, Steinkamp said the meal and the auction isn’t limited to people who are part of the school.

“We have a lot of people in the community who are not associated with the school at all that come back year after year,” she said. “We’re not exclusive. Anyone can buy a ticket, and they do.”

The silent auction is open for anyone who wants to attend and bid. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. the gym was lined with about 300 items for a silent auction. The banquet and live auction started at 6 p.m.

After the silent auction ended, workers finish preparing the gym for the banquet that evening. The dinner’s 225 tickets — at a cost of $45 per person — were all sold.

The dinner has a social hour at 6 p.m. with an open bar followed by a buffet meal at 7 p.m. After the meal, the live auction started around 8 p.m.

All the items are donated. Some items included gift baskets, weekend getaways, tickets to the new Minnesota Twins stadium and many more.

Steinkamp said the alumni of the school are generous and often donate items.

An alumnus who interned with the Arizona Cardinals donated a football signed by Kurt Warner.