By DARINA NAIDU
---- — AUSABLE FORKS — Holy Name School’s popular dinner and auction will happen this spring even though the school will close in June.
“We’re a Catholic school,” said Andrea Mitchell, school secretary and auction co-chair, “so we need fundraisers to be able to meet our budget requirements.
“We’re not fundraising for next year but to be able to finish this last year.”
The school still needs donation of auction items, she said.
UP FOR BID
The 20th-annual event is set for Saturday, May 4, at the American Legion in AuSable Forks, beginning at 4 p.m. with a michigan meal.
Among the items going up for bid beginning at 6 p.m. are gift baskets, jewelry, restaurant gift cards, professional dental whitening services, tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in New Hampshire in July, tickets to a New York City Ballet performance in Saratoga Springs, an overnight hotel-and-comedy-show package, boat cruises on Lake George, golf packages and camp rentals.
“New items are coming every day, so we’ll have much more,” Mitchell said.
Local individuals and businesses have contributed to the auction, as have some from Vermont and even Albany, she said.
Holy Name has made as much as $22,000 during previous auctions.
“We always have a goal,” she said. “Our range is between $13,000 and $20,000. We usually have to make at least $15,000 at the auction.”
TO PAY DEBT
The school, which serves prekindergarten through sixth grade, was forced to borrow $50,000 from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg last fall to meet costs. The loan — the first ever for Holy Name — will have to be paid back.
And if the school can’t meet its obligations, Holy Name Parish will have to assume the debt, Principal Christine Reynolds had told the Press-Republican earlier.
Mitchell said the money raised in May will be used for the school budget, which will go toward tuition, wages and keeping the school running until its closure.
The school’s census had been dropping in recent years, and the resulting loss of tuition caused a financial crunch that made closure the only option, Reynolds said.
Enrollment this year is just 56 students, 10 down from 2011-12.
About a third of the funding for the $350,000 or so annual budget had come from fundraisers, including a Labor Day celebration also popular with the community.
Another aspect included at the May 4 fundraiser is a Balloon Burst. Helium-filled balloons will be for sale for $25 at the event, and each will contain a number starting with 25.
“They pop it (the balloon), and they get their number and an envelope with the same amount of money as the number they receive,” Mitchell said.
“So they are getting at least $25.”
Despite everything, Mitchell said, “we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the school.
“It’s the last year, so we want to make (the auction) a good one — “we’re trying to get people to come and support us.”
— News Editor Suzanne Moore contributed to this report.
IF YOU GO
The 20th-annual Holy Name School Dinner and Auction takes place Saturday, May 4, at American Legion Post 504, McCrea Street, AuSable Forks.
The michigan dinner starts at 4 p.m. Cost is $7 for adults and $5 for children and senior citizens.
The auction begins at 6 p.m. and continues until everything is sold.
To donate auction items, including gently used furniture, gift cards or cash, or for more information, call the school at 647-8444.