Community

Harbor School holds its annual benefit auction on Saturday

Harbor School students show off some of the pieces that will be auctioned off on Saturday. They are, left to right in the front row, Rhea Enzian and Rachel Thomas; and in the back row are Ben Zaglin, Aiyana Zebryk, art teacher Kathy Larsdotter, head of the school Steve Edele, Rachel Hansen and Josh Davis. - Amelia Heagerty/staff photo
Harbor School students show off some of the pieces that will be auctioned off on Saturday. They are, left to right in the front row, Rhea Enzian and Rachel Thomas; and in the back row are Ben Zaglin, Aiyana Zebryk, art teacher Kathy Larsdotter, head of the school Steve Edele, Rachel Hansen and Josh Davis.
— image credit: Amelia Heagerty/staff photo

Uncommon experiences, student artwork and fun items for the home will all be on the auction block at The Harbor School’s annual auction on Saturday, when the school hopes to drum up support to the tune of thousands of dollars.

The annual event helps pay the salaries and benefits of the private school’s 13 employees, said Steve Edele, head of the 60-student school. The auction is an essential fundraiser for the school, he said.

“Every private school in the country, along with every nonprofit, is struggling to make ends meet,” he said, “and we’re no different.”

Edele said he looks forward to a lively event where parents of Harbor School students can mingle with other community members and bid on 90 one-of-a-kind items and intangibles — some of which are impossible to price.

“It’s times like these where we can bring the entire community of the school together and have a good time, and it’s all for the kids,” Edele said. “It’s always a good time.”

He said the small fourth- through eighth-grade school, where class sizes range from 11 to 18, strives to keep the educational experiences of students there rich and varied.

Students may take electives such as gardening, and through the school’s travel program may visit places such as the nation’s Capitol or Orcas Island.

These creative aspects of the school, he said, make the small institution special, but also come at a cost.

Student tuition at the school only covers 80 percent of its operating budget, Edele said.

Last year’s auction raised $70,000, said John O’Brien, auction chair, and organizers hope this year’s event will be similarly successful.

Some of the items that will be sold to the highest bidder on Saturday are student art pieces made in the school’s elective or travel studies programs.

Wooden birdhouses painted in vibrant colors, student photography and leaf bowls made from footlong leaves are included in the roster of Saturday’s live and silent auction items.

Other items include a stay in a Methow Valley cabin, a case of wine from Vashon’s Andrew Will Winery and a “fly-over” of Vashon in a small plane.

And though times are tough, the small school’s community is ramping up for what they hope will be an evening of generosity on the part of auction attendees.

“We will continue to be strong, but today demands that we be ever more creative and push ourselves to think outside the box, to think about how we can provide a quality education, given the fact that more and more people have fewer and fewer dollars,” Edele said. “(The auction) is critical.”

Tickets

The Harbor School’s 10th annual auction will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the Sportsmen’s Club. Dinner, beverages and desserts are included in the ticket price of $30, $40 or $50 — however much the auctiongoer wants to contribute. Call the school at 567-5955 for more information.

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