Opinion

Heros behind the scene made auction a success

auction update

The Vashon PTSA hosted its seventh annual auction, “Memories of Tomorrow,” on May 3 at K2 Commons.

It was a grand and nostalgic event with decorations from the ’60s and ’70s, fantastic food from the Back Bay Inn and a great new setting. 

I was very impressed with the generosity of everyone who contributed to this event, and I feel so fortunate to be a part of our wonderful community. It is truly a compassionate community that supports our schools, teachers and most of all our students. I have a few memories from the evening that I would like to share.

The guy who kept working. There were many volunteers who made this auction happen, hundreds in fact. Our auction leadership team did a wonderful job of securing sponsorships and items, pulling together decorations and saving every dollar they could to put on this event. I am proud of all of them.

But one person stands out in my mind. John Burke (also known as “Captain John”) was involved in three ways that many may not realize. First, students in his high school woodworking class made cheeseboards for the auction. Second, John was the guy who built the beautiful backdrop, a cafe in silhouette, working long days before the auction to get it just right. And finally, the day after the auction when I went to K2 to help with cleanup, guess who I found outside the building, using a pressure-washer to take care of all the dishes? 

John is the perfect example of a guy on Vashon who just did what he had to do for the kids. He did it quietly and with grace.

The teachers getting their moment. One of my favorite moments of the night was when we played a video saluting teachers and what they mean to us.

As pictures of those teachers’ faces flashed up on the screen and the crowd kept applauding, it was a wonderful feeling to look around the room. There were many teachers there, some clearly embarrassed, others grinning. But you know what? I think all of them realized how much they were appreciated by the parents that night. And the parents went on to raise thousands of dollars for training and education for teachers. You don’t get a better thank you than that.

The long applause. Perhaps the moment that meant the most to me was when Superintendent Terry Lindquist’s name was mentioned the first time. The crowd began cheering — a long, heartfelt tribute to a man who has done amazing things for our school district in the last year. 

It was wonderful to watch, and I am so happy that Superintendent Lindquist was there to hear it.

The numbers. We went into the auction with a bit of trepidation. Given the economy, auction after auction have taken big dips from previous years. We were concerned, because our district needs the funding now more than ever. But we’re very excited to announce that we’ve raised $19,000 for teacher training and nearly $95,000 for the school district after expenses. 

I am amazed at all the work that went into this auction since last September. We had a great team of people who came together, and it is impossible to thank all of them. Many of them have full-time jobs they juggled along with their auction duties. Most of them are parents, and we had more than a few auction meetings with kids playing in the corner. These parents know how important it is to support our schools and our teachers. I believe that’s why so many people volunteered — and why our auction was such a success.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who contributed time, money, artistic talent, services and wonderful items. You really made a difference.

Here’s to more moments at next year’s PTSA auction.

— Denise Katz is president

of the PTSA.

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