The annual gift auction, it's a time honored tradition for parent teacher organizations. A chance for parents and teachers to kick back, have some laughs and raise some money in the process. It's great to know a night of socializing will put interactive maps in our kids classrooms. But let's face it, it's not about the kids. It's about the prizes.
In Oceanport Tina Drahos and Amy Rosa are busy planning their PTO's Night in Paris slated for April 12 at The Palazzo Cultural Center in Ocean. Last year the PTO gathered some 300 prizes which is bundled into baskets at three different levels: under $100, luxury and premium.
One of the premium prizes this year, valued at $2,500, is VIP access to the New York Public Library that includes six tickets to a family benefit, reserved seated, private tours, kids activities and private viewing of the Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals in the archives.
"Gifts are coming in daily and we are grateful," Drahos said. "The 2013 Girl of the Year is the latest gift we received from American Girl."
This year Drahos said she and Rosa are hoping for a big haul but know that the storm ravaged town is still making a comeback. "It's a tough year all the way around," Drahos said, acknowledging that fundraisers for the PTO are down.
And while the teacher wishlists that benefit from the auction are important, Drahos said, "We don't want to take away from Sandy giving."
That's why she is encouraging residents to consider what they can give toward the auction's prizes that doesn't cost anything.
Here's a few ideas:
- A gift certificate for a weekend at your winter home or time share.
- Donate your Starwood points.
- Local sports team memorbilia.
- Giftcards you won't use
- A designer bag you bought on clearance. (It's still got the tags, but it's just not your style.)
- Got season tickets to the theater or a sports team, donate tickets to a show or a game?
- Ask your company to donate a product or service in exchange for an ad in the event program.
The PTO is also in need of the actual baskets that will hold the prizes and volunteers to wrap them the week of the auction. If you'd like to make a donation or help out, email Drahos.