TJ’s fifth annual action will be held online through April 11th-15th this year.
Despite the difficulties presented by the pandemic for school-wide events, TJ’s auction committee has managed to organize a virtual auction for the community. This will be the fifth year the auction has taken place and will last a total of four days, from a Sunday morning to a Thursday night. The two leading members of the committee are TJ parents Megan Perkins and Becca Mahoney. Perkins brought the event to the TJ community five years ago and worked on it at her own children’s elementaries and middle schools. When she got to TJ she saw that there was a need for fundraising at the high school level, in order to provide for the classroom environment and well-being of students and their families. She has been the head of the committee for each auction for the past five years, and is fortunate enough to have a teammate, Mahoney, by her side for any assistance.
The primary purpose of the auction is to raise funds for the Teacher Grant Program. Participating businesses vary each year but anyone within the TJ community or in the general area is free to help in any way they can. This ranges from donating items to be auctioned off to just spreading the word to local business owners. The auction will gather any donations from companies within the community, such as specific discounts, certificates, or any other services that businesses provide. Each item being auctioned off is put into a specific category and each category is scheduled to close at a different time throughout the event. This year, a few businesses in the auction include a $1,000 donation from Owen’s Orthodontics, an introduction to scuba diving, a $150 donation from American Furniture Warehouse, photography packages, car wash packages, and a variety of gift certificates for local restaurants. There are approximately $13,000 worth of donations at the moment. The way it works is the images of items or the logos of companies are put up on the auction website, so from there anyone can click and bid. Of course, the highest bidder will purchase the item for whatever amount they entered.
All the money earned through the course of the auction is directly donated to Thomas Jefferson High School, whether it may go towards specific programs, school supplies, building renovations, or families. For example, if a teacher is in need of classroom materials they will write a grant and submit the request to the PTO (Parent Teacher Organization). These requests are then collected and looked over at the organization’s meetings, often getting approved to proceed in purchasing the desired supplies. This school year, the PTO has been able to fulfill 100% of requests that have been made. Speaking on the goal for this year’s auction, Perkins explained, “Last year we raised $20,000. This year with COVID and everything going on our expectations are a little bit lower that we won’t be able to raise that much, but we’re certainly hoping to raise at least $5,000.” This year, the auction committee is hoping for the money to go towards building beautification, such as improving the main entrance and front of the school, and supporting TJ families in need.
The auction is officially open and it is encouraged that everyone, regardless of whether they are a part of the TJ community or not, participate in the event. If you’re interested in bidding on any items, here is the link: https://cbo.io/bidapp/index.php?slug=thomasj. Students and families are grateful for having such a collaborative and creative PTO to help out with events such as this that benefit the entire community.