In its third year, the Tilden PTO Chinese Auction and Dinner decided to switch it up a bit and schedule the even for January instead of October like it was the previous two years.
The event has grown each year according to Aimee Litschi, Tilden PTO Co-Treasurer and Chair of Chinese Auction & Dinner.
“We try to draw in donations from more vendors each year, in addition to the vendors who have supported us each year,” said Litschi. “The students are asked to bring in an item or two to donate to their themed classroom basket. We also have several staff and community members who graciously donate items and/or baskets to include in the auction. Eventually we would like to build the Chinese auction even further so that this fundraiser and our ‘Trash to Cash’ recycling program can support the majority of the PTO’s activities.”
Every year the auction has been paired with an all-you-can-eat dinner. The first year was a spaghetti dinner with an option of macaroni and cheese. Last year it was paired with a chicken alfredo and pizza dinner. Considering the cold and snowy weather this January, Litschi believes that the turnout was similar to prior years.
As for the baskets, the PTO tries to have themed baskets for each homeroom.
“The teacher picks the classroom’s theme and the students are asked to donate a new, unopened item for their classroom’s basket,” said Litschi. “The teachers will often contribute to their homeroom’s basket as well. Depending on the number and types of items donated, the PTO sometimes supplements or combines classroom baskets in order to make the baskets reasonably full. Some teachers organize and wrap the baskets, but the majority of the baskets are put together and wrapped by PTO volunteers a few days before the auction.”
Money raised during the auction and dinner was not designated to a specific PTO program, but does help with the events that the PTO has for the students such as field day, heritage day, holiday workshop and family fun nights.
“The PTO also provides a book to each student at least one time each year and tried to fulfill any classroom requests such as providing hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes and Weekly Readers and similar periodicals,” explained Litschi. “These requests are fulfilled with the funds we raise through various fundraisers and our ‘Trash to Cash’ recycling program.”
Coming up for the Tilden PTO is the indoor family yard sale and craft show on April 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Tilden Elementary Center. The community can purchase space in the cafeteria, lobby or gym to sell their unwanted items or crafts and homemade items.
“It is also open to one representative per direct sales company,” said Litschi. “The event is open to the public to stop by and shop and the PTO will have food and drinks available for purchase. This year the fifth grade class will have baked goods for sale as well to support their class field trip.”
Tilden PTO is also planning on having the Chinese Auction and All-You-Can-Eat dinner next year around the same time in January as it was held this year. There has not been a date set yet, but the PTO plans on continuing this event.