The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

Behind the scenes: Leadership hosts Black and White Silent Auction fundraiser

Caught in a bidding war over front row VIP senior graduation tickets, Mr. Daniel Gallagher raises his paddle March 1. Photo by Alexis Dashnyam

After months of planning, the leadership fundraiser surpassing financial goals, uniting efforts and empathies to create a remarkable event that vastly displays their dedication and teamwork. With a set goal to raise $15,000, leadership students hosted the 16th Black and White Silent Auction dinner March 1. 

“Planning for the event was definitely a huge undertaking and is one of the hardest things I’ve done,” Hannah Sprinkle said. 

The purpose of this event is to raise money for the leadership program, with preparations starting mid-September. Throughout the several-month preparation period, the committee began collecting donations, selecting a venue, menu and theme. In participation with fundraising, all leadership committees put together a basket filled with items that could be bid on. For example, a coloring-themed basket including pens, markers, coloring pencils, books and more. 

Contrasting previous years, leadership sent out a form for parents to vote on the theme instead of the usual, which allowed students to make the decision. The results came back in and the most voted theme was western, hence this silent auction’s  “Classy Country” theme. Prizes were given to people for categories such as “Best Dressed” and “Best Dressed Couple.” Mr. Trevor Huiskens was titled “Best Dressed” and received “Fat Tire Ale” as his prize.

Being the only committee working on the event, the fundraising committee handles, leads and performs each task necessary to build a successful event. The committee picks up donations, around twice a week on average, and has outside-of-school meetings at Fundraising Commissioner Sprinkle’s house.

“Personally, it’s a lot more work I think, than people realize just because my house was taken over for a couple of months with donation baskets, and my whole house was flooded with everything,” Sprinkle said. “It was a lot of work physically, having to move all these pieces, all the centerpieces, decorations and coordinating. There’s a lot of outside work that goes into it because during the day in class, we only have so much time to work on this event. So it’s a lot of outside of school hours.”

In earlier months, the meetings would happen once or twice a month. However, starting in January, they’ve met more frequently in order to fine-tune the preparation.

“On average, I probably spend two or three hours a week doing stuff for the Black and White fundraiser,” Lyndee Veldstra said.

In order to get items for the baskets, the fundraising committee reached out to businesses and asked if they could donate. If the business agreed, they had to plan a pick-up time and date, and then log the donations on a Google Sheet. Since there were so many donations, the fundraising committee worked with Mr. Jesse Armas’ fifth period introduction to leadership class fundraising committee to call and pick up some of the donations. Having called over 350 businesses, about 45 to 50 percent agreed to donate.

On the day of the event, the committee gets excused from school to spend time setting up for the night. They met at Sprinkle’s house and loaded all of the baskets and decorations into her car. Around 12 p.m., they arrived at the Rocklin Event Center where the auction was hosted. 

“We start unloading and just putting all the decorations together, getting the dinnerware set up, getting the table set up [and] making sure that the sound system is working correctly,” Veldstra said.

Parents rolled in around 6 p.m. As they waited for the main auction to begin, they were offered to join in on line dancing and cornhole. Many parents, like Jessica Clark, placed multiple bids to support the school.

“It’s just fun to see what people do, how they react and how much they’re willing to support a program,” Clark said. “I bought a cake because I felt like the creativity [put] into making it was worth the money to support the school.”

The auction isn’t just about raising money but it is also about bringing families together. Parents like Mr. Greg Takeuchi thought of ways he could spend his money for both the program and new experiences for his family. Such consisted of spa experiences and alcoholic beverages to enjoy.

“I think life is about enjoying experiences and having fun with your family,” Takeuchi said. “We’ve bid based on what we can do as a family. I can’t get time back and my daughter is getting older. Someday she’ll be out of the house. Hopefully, we’ll have time to spend time together.”

Exceeding monetary expectations, the event raised a total of about $18,000.

Sprinkle said, “Everyone in the committee worked so beyond hard and put in a lot of hours and work personally, so I’m super proud of them.”


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