Slight tweaks for BJHS basket auction
Candy, movies and plenty of other goodies will once again be available to purchase at the Baldwin Junior High School Basket Auction, but there's a new location this year.
The 7th annual auction will be taking place on the mezzanine in the BJHS gym. In previous years it was held in the cafeteria. It will begin at 6 p.m.
"We have outgrown the cafeteria," BJHS Student Council sponsor Laura McCall said. "If people had any complaint it would be that they were crowded."
Event organizer Kathy Wilson said the space wasn't big enough for the crowd anymore, so she wanted to try a new location this year.
"Last year after the event was over, I would ask people for some constructive criticism," Wilson said. "I heard from a handful of people that it was crowded. After I talked to (BJHS Principal) Connie Wright, we decided that the mezzanine would give us more room and the feeling of not being so crowded. We also wanted to address the flow of people. It's going to be as streamlined as possible."
Another change this year will be orderly lines when paying for the baskets. The winners will be assigned to lines according to the first letter of their last names. Wilson said there should be four or five lines for paying.
"You want to make it a good evening and as non-complicated as possible," Wilson said. "I think that is what we are trying to do this year."
The final adjustment this year will be a concession stand, as opposed to the punch and cookies that were served in previous years.
"We are going to have a concession stand open as opposed to the punch and cookies," Wilson said. "We are going to try that so that there will be more of a variety. It is another opportunity to earn money for the school."
Wilson has been hard at work getting donations from various local businesses to help with the auction. She has received many items from Baldwin City businesses, along with several from Lawrence.
"The Lawrence community really recognizes the impact of the Baldwin community," Wilson said. "They have been extremely gracious."
She said many restaurants have donated gift certificates, while other places have given several other items. She even said the Baldwin City Recreation Commission donated two free pool passes.
"I'm really excited about the baskets," Wilson said. "There is just a variety of stuff from a lot of businesses. I think we will have as many as last year. I think we had 180 last year and I think we will have that many this year."
BJHS students will also be donating baskets. Each second hour class will once again be making a basket for the auction.
The money raised from the event goes to the BJHS student council, which uses the funds for various items that are needed for the school.
"We try to spend it on student-driven activities and that's the bottom line," McCall said. "Last year we used a lot of the money on Earth Day activities.
"It paid for some curriculum things that weren't in the budget," McCall said. "We are always updating our technology," McCall said. "Everything has gone from VCR to DVD, which seems like a small thing, but we have to keep updating those things."
One large item that is going to be purchased this year is a metal picnic table that will sit in front of the building.
"It's going to be a picnic table that both students and teachers can use," McCall said. "We will probably put it in the garden area. I am hoping to build on that. It's expensive, but it should last for 20 or 25 years."
The auction will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday when the doors to BJHS open for the book fair and art show. The bidding will end at 7 p.m. when the BJHS play begins.
The final bidding will take place during the play's intermission and the winners will take their baskets home after the performance.
"This is like our rite of spring," McCall said. "We start this busyness right now and it pretty much lasts until the end of the year. It goes by so fast. The basket auction is sort of like a big party."
Wilson said she is looking forward to the auction, but she will be ready to rest when it's over.
"I am ready for it," Wilson said. "When you work so hard on something, you can't see the fruits of your labor until that night. It was so pleasing to me to see the staff having a great time with this. It's almost like a school spirit event.
"It's like we are putting on the Ritz," Wilson said. "It's our one night to shine. I am looking forward to it. I am also looking forward to spring break, because, boy, am I going to rest."