This is the fourth year Notre Dame will host its auction, which is traditionally held in the first week of February. This year’s date has even more significance, as the one-year anniversary of the tragic incident at Notre Dame Elementary in which an intruder entered the school and assaulted a teacher, before committing suicide elsewhere in a police standoff.
This year’s grand auction will feature some unique items, such as trips to the Greenbriar Hotel in West Virginia, the Grand Opryland Hotel in Nashville, and a trip to the Smoky Mountains. Other items include NASCAR tickets, a University of Notre Dame golf bag, tickets to University of Notre Dame football and tickets to Ohio State Buckeyes football (versus Minnesota).
Another exciting item offered this year is a football signed by the 1975 Ohio State Buckeyes, including Woody Hayes and Archie Griffin. The ball was donated by the Ohio State University Alumni Association, and money raised from its sale will be shared between the alumni association and Notre Dame school. The association uses the money to help fund an OSU scholarship for local students.
Notre Dame Director of Development Patty Tennant said they’ll also have one of their most popular items back this year.
“Our room mothers for each class do a class basket. They get together with other mothers and take up money from the children, and people make donations, and they put together these baskets; and these baskets are one of the most popular items. It’ll be like a 3rd grade basket, a 4th grade basket, or a high school basket,” she said.
Notre Dame alum are also making baskets to commemorate their graduation year.
Raffles will also be available, including a $1,000 tuition raffle for Notre Dame students. The raffle was open to parents of Notre Dame students ahead of time, for $20 each, and Tennant said winners do not need to be present in order to win.
Other raffles — including a big screen television and video digital camera — will not be available until that evening, so people will have to at least show up if they want to win. Those tickets sell for $10, and people can drop them into drawings for any of the four raffles they wish, or drop them all into one drawing to increase their chances of winning.
A Chinese auction will also be offered, and for only $1.00 people can buy a ticket to place in a bag to win a variety of local gift certificates.
Then there’s also the Golden Ticket.
“(People can buy) a chocolate bar, and one of the chocolate bars will have a golden ticket in it. That prize will either be a trip or a popular item, like maybe an iPhone or something like that. We haven’t decided yet,” Tennant said.
She said the money raised from the auction goes toward Notre Dame’s operating budget.
“A lot of it goes to pay teachers’ salaries, and just the day-to-day operating expenses. Being a private school, we don’t receive very much state money,” Tennant said.
With emcee Steve Hayes, of WNXT radio, Tennant said the auction has become a huge community event, sold-out every year. The evening this year begins at 5:30 p.m., with wine tasting and hors d’oeuvers, and silent bidding until 9:30 p.m. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m., and the grand auction begins at 7:45 p.m., coming to a close with dancing and checkout at 10 p.m.
“We have so many volunteers and so many people that work on it. Without them, we just couldn’t do it,” Tennant said.
Tickets for this year’s auction are on sale now, for $40 each, and are on sale at Notre Dame’s Development Office, in the high school, by calling (740) 354-2354; or at Notre Dame Elementary, by calling (740) 353-8610.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235.