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Archbishop Walsh to hold virtual Fall Auction & Raffle Fundraiser

Fri, Oct 2nd 2020 11:00 am

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)

OLEAN — When the Fall Auction & Raffle Fundraiser is held online Oct. 24 to benefit Southern Tier Catholic School & Archbishop Walsh Academy, participants will have the opportunity to win as much as $15,000 while helping a good cause.

Thomas J. Manko, school president and principal, said the annual Fall Gala Auction fundraiser was reformatted to the online event due to the ongoing restrictions on large gatherings imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is one of our two major fundraisers, St. Pat’s being the other one,” Manko said. “But we’re doing the virtual one this year, which is pretty neat.”

Jessica Policastro, director of marketing and alumni relations, said the online event will have 900 tickets available at a cost of $100 each, while providing each ticket holder an opportunity to win $15,000.

The event will also give participants the ability to “bid on unique and exciting items from the comfort of their own homes.”

She said everyone who purchases a ticket will receive a link to the online auction and will be entered into the raffle drawing that will be live-streamed on Facebook at approximately 7:30 p.m. the night of the event. The online activity will also give the school’s supporters additional time to consider their bids while giving more people a chance to bid on the items in which they are interested.

Manko said local businesses and organizations have donated items for the auction, which has been a big help. For example, one of the items to be auctioned is a 2006 four-door Infiniti sedan. It is hoped the event will attract a number of participants, as the funds will help with a number of campus expenses.

“We need the money for a number of uses,” Manko said. “Operations and maintenance being one, academics, social activities and athletics for the kids. There are a lot of uses for the funding that makes our programs special.”

He said the COVID-19 mandates for personal protective equipment and cleaning have also impacted the school’s budget.

“We started deep cleaning the building last March as soon as the students were out,” he recalled. “We got so far ahead that we were able to deep clean a second time.”

Manko said the campus, which provides five-day, in-person classes, has over 160 students, which is an increase from last year.

“I had to cap enrollment at 175, just to ensure we have small enough class sizes,” he added. “We have more students coming … we have talked with some families who said ‘We’ve attempted to work with our local schools, they have a great plan, but our child needs to be in school five days a week.’”

He said scholarships and financial aid packages are available to families who need assistance. This is another reason the auction and raffle, which will help fund financial aid programs, are important.

For more information on the fundraiser, visit Facebook or the school website at www.stcswalsh.org. In addition, the link and catalog of items, and the ability to bid for virtual auction items, will be available beginning Oct. 20 on Facebook.

Tickets are on now on sale and can be purchased by calling the school at 372-8122 or visiting the school website at www.stcswalsh.org.

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)



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