"An Evening In The Vineyard" will be the theme of the 26th Annual Auction Fest at the Emmetsburg Catholic School this weekend. Auction Fest will take place Saturday, March 29, but the annual event starts with a pair of preview events on Friday, March 28, and is followed by the actual Auction Fest dinner and auction event on Saturday in Corrigan Hall. Once again, the organizing committee for the event has been hard at work over the past weeks and months planning for this year's event.
The Corrigan Hall complex has been transformed to a vineyard with grape arbors, along with the addition of the live and silent auction items, as well as special events to take place Saturday evening. To give the general public an opportunity to view the setting and the various items, the Auction Fest Committee will host the Emmetsburg Chamber of Commerce's weekly Chamber Coffee on Friday morning at Corrigan Hall, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. Then, the public Preview Party event will be Friday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. in Corrigan Hall. During the evening public Preview Party, the public is invited to view the auction items, and participate in the Chest of Chance game, or to purchase tickets for the Luck of the Irish Drawing and the Half-Chance drawings. This year's Luck of the Irish game features a choice of a pair of Beats Headphones by Dr. Dre, or $300 in Emmetsburg Catholic School Hope Certificates. Guests will also have an opportunity to win a hand-made quilt, donated by the Classic Quilters and Dr. Dan and Jean Reedy.
Saturday's evening begins with Mass and Holy Family Church at 4:15 p.m. and the doors to Corrigan Hall will open at 5:15 p.m. The Silent Auction will begin at that time, along with The Luck of the Irish game and Stomp the Winning Grape Board Game as well as a new opportunity, a Centerpiece Raffle involving specially autographed bottles of wine by NFL player Dallas Clark, owner of the Trainwreck Winery in Algona. Part of the Centerpiece raffle also includes a free-standing wine cooler/refrigerator, wine holder and bottle of wine from the Trainwreck Winery.
AUCTION?FEST?TREASURES - Members of the Emmetsburg Catholic School seventh and eighth grade inspect a few of the offerings that will be up for bid at Saturday night’s Auction Fest, “Evening In The Vineyard.” The 26th annual fundraiser for the Emmetsburg Catholic School begins at 5:15 p.m. at Corrigan Hall. -- Dan Voigt photo
Pat Joyce will be the special Guest Speaker prior to the event at 6:45 p.m. and the New York Strip steak dinner, catered by SanDan's Catering of Graettinger, will follow at 7 p.m. The evening will be highlighted by the live auction, starting at 8 p.m., with Joe Temme of the Auction Specialty Group of Omaha, Neb., once again crying the auction items.
The Live Auction will feature 71 items this year, ranging in value from $300 to $2,000 to items that are truly "priceless".
As in past years, the students at Emmetsburg Catholic Schools raise funds by their respective grades to acquire items for Auction Fest and this year, the students have once again worked very hard to come up with wonderful auction items. One such gift is an iPad Mini and a keyboard cover, donated by the Second graders. The four-year old Preschool class and Sherry Bredehoeft have created a truly one-of-a-kind quilt with the names of each member of the four-year old preschool in a block on the quilt.
The seventh and eighth graders joined forces to create a beautiful Celtic Cross watercolor painting, matted and framed, as a legacy piece for the live auction. The First Graders designed a package including a fire pit made with tiles crafted by the first graders, along with lawn chairs, marshmallow roasting sticks and all the fixin's to make S`mores. Another outdoor package comes from the Fourth Graders, who have put together a birdbath fountain and stepping-stones created by the fourth graders to create a perfect backyard setting.
The ECS Sixth Graders have come up with a Craftsman Tool Chest, while the Fifth Graders have put together a Creative Spirits Painting Party for 10 people. For their auction package, the Fifth Graders will produce an E-Hawk Tailgating Package, which will feature an E-Hawk Athletic Booster Club Gold Membership for two adults, two stadium chairs, and food and beverages for 10 people before any home Emmetsburg E-Hawk athletic event.
For another one-of-a-kind gift, the Three-Year-Old Preschoolers have created a large wooden sign with the handprints of each member of the Three-Year-Old Preschool. The Third Graders will provide Fun in the Sun with Sand, an Irish wooden sandbox, complete with sand and sandbox toys.
Another offering is the yearly Kindergarten Quilt. The ECS Kindergarten students design their own individual blocks for a quilt, which is then assembled and offered on the live auction for a true one-of-a-kind "priceless" item. The ECS Preschooler class will also offer their own take on a quilt with name blocks, machine quilted in a twin-bed size. And, the Eighth Graders will once again provide a one-of-a-kind class caricature of their class, created by ECS Art instructor Erin Schany.
Other items on the auction block include a Propel Malibu Scooter, a getaway to Palm Beach, a one-week stay on the Mexican Riveria, and autographed Whiskey Barrel table with Wine Rack and a grocery shopping spree are just a few of the multitude of items on the live auction Saturday night. A popular item from the 2013 Auction Fest, The One Minute Homily from Father Clem, is being offered once again. And through proceeds from the annual Irish Open Golf Outing, a Texas Elite Treager Grill is being offered on auction.
Traditional Auction Fest items such as the Holy Family Street Sign, Christmas and Easter Church Seating also return along with the ECS Tuition Package.
The silent auction items are divided into various areas of interest: Kids Corner, with gifts for the younger set; Holidays, which are decorating and dcor items with a holiday theme. Pamper Me Please items are geared toward the ladies, ranging from purses to jewelry items and more. Country, Garden and Home items include a variety of gifts, ranging from flags flown over the State Capitol to coffee makers, baking dishes and decorator items.
The Team Spirit section is devoted to collegiate and school clothing, gifts and packages. Toys for Big Boys will feature goodies for the gentlemen, such as tools, binoculars, collectible toy cars and tractors. The final area of the silent auction is Services and Gifts, which features certificates for discounts on dining, entertainment, and various gift cards.
The continued success of Auction Fest for the past 26 years has been the result of dedicated work by past and present committee members who have given of their time to serve on the Auction Fest Committee. This year, Roberta Anderson and Kim Joyce are serving as the Co-Chairs, with Jessica Geelan and Laura Matthews serving as the Treasurers. Committee members include Kim Joyce, Cassie Hersom, Linda Steinkamp, Tami Trieber, Teresa Murphy, Renee Chism, Melanie Hoffman, Brianna Haywood, Danielle Flannegan and Thad Louwagie.