Auction to give support for BP schools

Published 11:57 am Monday, March 26, 2012

When Blooming Prairie teachers and students receive supplies and support for education, they can usually thank one local source. Soon, they will be thanking it again.

The Blooming Prairie Education Foundation, which began in 1999, will hold its ninth annual auction from 3 to 11 p.m. March 31 at the Blooming Prairie Cue Co., also known as the Pizza Cellar.

Last year the foundation’s auction raised $60,000, and during the past year the foundation purchased nine smart boards for Blooming Prairie schools.

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“What we really want to stress is that all of that money goes back to the schools,” said Sue Zwiener, president of the foundation.

Zwiener added that the money never goes toward building costs, athletics or anything that is not directly education related. That means Blooming Prairie students and teachers have been on the receiving end of $361,000 of educational gifting in the past eight years, all from locals who attend the auction, bid on items and donate to the cause.

Because of the program, things like all-day, everyday kindergarten, field trips and guest speakers can continue.

“I think it has been a huge success, and I think that success is just amazing in a town our size,” Zwiener said. “Without the donations, we wouldn’t be able to do auctions; and without the people coming to bid, we would just be kind of going around in a circle.”

This year’s event kicks off with a silent auction at 3:30 p.m. A live auction will take place later, and some of this year’s items include an autographed Joe Mauer jersey, Vikings and Twins tickets, vacations, landscaping service, diamond earrings and more. Guests get in with a $2 booklet of tickets that can be used to claim prizes, as well.

While the event has always been a success, coordinators aren’t badgering locals for support. It is always there.

“We don’t have a goal so to speak, we are just thankful people are willing to come just to raise as much as we can for the kids,” Zwiener said.