Q: Should I eat before I come to the Auction?
For Auction 2014, there will not only be complimentary passed hors d'oeuvers, but we will also have a carving station featuring a standing rib roast and dinner rolls. There will also be a cash bar featuring premium liquors, imported beers, and soft drinks.
Q: Are children allowed at this event?
Although this event is to benefit the education of children at Keystone, this is an adult-only affair (21 and over). That doesn't mean that you can't shop for children at the event--we have an entire category dedicated to gifts for children!
Q: Is this a ‘dressy’ event?
A: Not at all! Set for Saturday, March 1st Auction 2014 starts at 5:00 p.m. It’s a party and by no means formal. Wear what you wear to a typical Saturday night out. After all, at $25 per person (in advance, $30 at the door) this is not a stuffy affair. Best advice? Wear very comfortable shoes. You will be busy! Even our free hors d’oeuvres & carving stations are a stand-up affair.
Q: May I make a donation to Keystone even if I am not a family member or teacher of a student?
Of course! Friends of Keystone are always welcome to donate items to the Auction whether it is a service, good, or vacation. (See following question for more info on donation items).
Q: What should I donate?
A: Our families and staff have always been creative. Each family is asked to donate or solicit at least 2 things by Friday, Feb. 14th. These tax-deductible donations range from the personal (babysit, cook ethnic dinners, give tickets or autographed items, a vacation home stay, etc.) to the professional (gift certificates from businesses you patronize or own) All items are unused, other than an appraised antique. We need donations to come in soon because it takes time for volunteers to catalog hundreds of items. If you can solicit a donation, contact our 2012 Auction Chairs, Katie Shea and Courtney Weicher. We have mailed out donation requests to several hundred prospective donors this year, and you may be able to back up our mailed request with a phone call or quick visit.
Q: How will I know what help you need or what I could buy at the auction?
A: Read Keynotes or check this Website under Parental Support/Volunteers. And look for printed Auction Guidebooks distributed the week of the auction. All donors and solicitors -- families, staff and businesses -- are credited in these write-ups. Or stop by the Auction Office next to the gym (2nd floor) at school. We welcome visits from anyone with a question or donation to drop off.
Q: Do you need volunteers?
A: Yes, yes, yes! Big or small, your help makes a difference. We are grateful to note that every year, virtually every Keystone family helps on this key, all-volunteer fundraiser. Right now, we need help calling on donors or with working a weekly morning or afternoon shift on the donations log-in crew, which works through mid-February E-mail Katie Shea with any questions
Q: Can I come alone?
A: Yes! Lots of people, parents and faculty alike, come solo. We also have a regular mailing list of co-workers, former club staff and alumni families who come to shop. Others ask along friends or grandparents, but plenty of people come on their own. After all, it makes sense if you couldn’t find a babysitter or a spouse is unable to go. Nobody feels out-of-place because this is an informal, sort-of-noisy, browsing-around party. There are no dinner tables. After all, we need table space for hundreds of silent bid sheets, rugs, gifts and baskets. These are arranged throughout the renovated club’s main room and upper lofts. There is a cash bar and free hors d’oeuvres. If you need to sit, there are bar chairs, or wait for the Live Auction when extra chairs are put out.
Q: Not a lot to spend?
A: That’s OK. We have bidders who spend a little, focusing on items of practical value, such as Jewel & Dominick’s certificates, or favorite eateries. And we have other shoppers who go, well -- nuts! They all fit in. That’s why we offer hundreds of gifts and services at all prices, and there are bargains. Silent bidding starts at 4:30 p.m., and ends at approximately 7:45. Be prompt: The last 90 minutes are fast-paced, and there are various rooms to navigate for different types of bids.
Q: How do I bid?
A: Everyone is assigned a bidding number, given at the door, that you use to identify yourself on bid sheets. Those who RSVP’d by buying their tickets in advance have pre-assigned bid numbers, with faster check-in at the door. Bid sheets list an item’s value and minimum bid. It also lists minimum raises, usually $5, $10 or $25. Bidding under the minimum can void your bid if it is challenged. Silent bid sheets are
sorted by cashiers during the first half of the Live Auction, which is why no one can check out early. Use Keynotes, the auction Web site or Auction Guidebook for details about what’s for sale. Most minimum bids start at about 40 percent of value. But lots of valuable gift certificates, vacations and donations go for less than face value, depending on the competition. There are bargains. You cannot judge something out of your budget until you see how the bidding goes.
Q: What do they sell at the Live Auction?
A: Starting at 8 p.m., our auctioneer will start the bidding on 20 bigger-ticket items. Numbered paddles are used for live bidding. We have nifty teacher outings and usually a few autographed items, such as sports memorabilia. View our LIVE AUCTION Home Page or you may always access each item we have currently listed individually from the menu at the top of each page of this website.
Q: The Keystone raffle changed this year. How does it work ?
A: Tickets are still $5 each or 3 for $10. But instead of one big winner, there will be winners of $100, $100, $100, $250 & $500 announced
throughout the evening. Winners need not be present, but it’s more exciting if they are! Winners (including those who won $100 in Auction
Bucks raffles for early donations) receive immediate credit on auction purchases, or are paid cash in the school office after March 1.
Q: How do I pay?
A: Personal checks, cash, Mastercard, Visa, & Discover are taken at checkout tables, starting about 9 p.m. Sorry, early check-out is impossible, and buyers must take home what they buy that night.
Q: How does the annual auction help Keystone?
A: It is vital. More than 90 percent of what is sold at the auction goes directly back to Keystone, a registered 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. Auction 2014 proceeds will balance gaps in a tough budget year following the construction of our 2nd floor classrooms and gym. The auction is an all-volunteer, parent-led effort, first organized a decade ago by Emily Truett. Our only expenses are operating costs, including moving trucks, table rental, printing, and copying costs. A popular event, the auction is also our key fun-raiser.
Q: If I don’t RSVP, can I still go?
A: Absolutely. Tickets are still $30 per person at the door. But your check-in is much, much faster if prepaid because you are pre-registered and waved ahead, with your bid number ready at the door.
"The seed we sow is the seed of hope."
Want to donate an item?
We are always welcoming donations from businesses and individuals! Please contact the Keystone Montessori Office or Katie Shea for details
Keystone Office: (708)-366-1080