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ELM CITY — Parents and community members can cash in on Christmas savings at a first-of-its-kind fundraiser the Elm City Middle School PTO hopes will sustain its spring semester projects.
The parent-teacher organization will hold a silent auction featuring products from Wilson County businesses, event tickets and gift baskets from 3-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11 in the school cafeteria.
“We’re just trying to do something new to mix it up a bit,” said Crystal Anderson, PTO president. “I’m hoping if we do well with this, we won’t have to ask our parents to contribute again in the spring. It’s not the funnest part to continually have to ask parents for something.”
Auction items include furniture from Artisan Leaf and Furniture Liquidators, gift certificates from The Beefmastor Inn and Brewmasters, tickets to Wilson Tobs baseball games and the Arts Council of Wilson’s Boykin Series 22 spring shows, school spirit gear from Barton College and a newspaper subscription and set of four locally published books from The Wilson Times.
Some offerings have a personal touch. Elm City Middle teachers contributed original artwork and gift items, and Farris & Farris attorney Rhyan Breen — whose term as a Wilson County Board of Education member for the district including ECMS begins the day before the auction — donated sports memorabilia autographed by Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Johnny Damon.
“We’re trying to hit up our local businesses to donate,” Anderson said. “We always like to keep the community involved.”
Organizers are still accepting donations, which should be delivered to the school by Friday afternoon.
The silent auction coincides with the seventh- and eighth-grade chorus and band Christmas concert, planned for 7 p.m. Dec. 11. The 3 p.m. start time allows parents to browse the offerings when they pick up their children.
“We wanted to pick a day where there were as many activities as possible to encourage the parents to come out,” Anderson said.
While bidding will end at 8:15 p.m., bidders do not have to be present to win. Winners who are not in attendance will be notified by phone, with payment and pickup due by Dec. 14.
The Elm City Middle PTO has about 10 active members who meet monthly. Its fundraisers support the school’s Positive Behavior Intervention and Support program, the school band and class projects.
“We do whatever the staff and teachers need,” said Anderson, a teacher assistant at New Hope Elementary whose daughter is an eighth-grader at Elm City. “Going from elementary school to middle school, the students’ and parents’ focus changes. The PTO on the middle school level really struggles.”
If the silent auction is a success, Anderson said it could become an annual event that replaces smaller-scale PTO fundraisers. She anticipates a brisk turnout and strong support from Viking parents.
“I think the biggest thing about Elm City is it is really family-oriented,” she said. “We are all about connecting with the community, and that is so important for the schools.”
For more information or to contribute silent auction items, email Anderson at email@example.com.