Dickson Schools will host an auction to raise money for the district next weekend.
The Dickson Foundation for Excellence has worked behind the scenes since 1996 to raise funds for new equipment and supplies, as well as scholarships for Dickson students. Board president Cindy McKeown said the auction, which is held biannually, typically brings in between $8,000 and $10,000 for the district, but she hopes to see that number increase in the future.
“Dickson, we don’t have a very large tax base,” McKeown said. “It’s very rural and spread out, so you don’t have a dense tax base either.”
First called the Spring Fling, then Classroom Relief, the auction has taken place for several years.
The auction is slated for 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, at the Dickson Schools’ cafeteria. Admission is $5 and includes a BBQ dinner and a bid number for auction items.
“We really want to reach out to our community,” McKeown said. “That, in and of itself, is hard.”
Most recently, the district used auction money to buy C-Pens, devices students can use to scan words and translate them into other languages, sewing machines for the home economics classes, and money for the school’s robotics program.
“It has to be for educational purposes and effect numerous children, not just a few,” she said. “We’ve been able to grant some pretty neat stuff.”
Many Carter County businesses and individuals donate items and gift baskets for the auction, making for an eclectic list. Dickson Schools sports memorabilia, sod, agricultural equipment, event tickets, baked goods, health and beauty packages are up for grabs along with custom wall quilts, knives, bowls and woodworking items made by local artisans.
“The school is getting really involved this year,” she said. “That is a rekindling of what used to be, but that over the years has been waning. The school as a whole is really gung-ho, working with their teachers to make this auction amazing.”
Other items include a birthday party package at Dickson Fire Department, a guided fishing trip, a birthday party package at Dickson Police Department, a night of painting with refreshments for six guests, and the option to be coach for a game or principal for the day at Dickson Schools.
“I think that’s neat, that’s our community giving and also our community coming out and supporting,” she said.
In need of more technology, however, class sets of electronics are expensive.
“It’s not that we’re behind, it’s just that the quantity is limited,” she said. “What we have is wonderful, but we don’t have enough of it to serve the number of students we need to serve.”
The organization acquired a bingo license and plans to hold a second, different kind of fundraiser in the future.
“If we’re limited to this, we can’t grow with the need,” McKeown said. “We want our community to be involved.”
This year, attendees can also buy copies of original senior class photos from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Copies will be on display in Dickson High School, in a display with the other classes.