EAST LIVERPOOL-Almost anything that could be auctioned off was auctioned off Saturday night at the St. Aloysius School 14th annual Irish Auction.
There was $300 worth of motor oil donated by Shell Lubricants of Newell.
There was a mom and dad's night out basket-complete with free babysitting service and a gas card-donated by Jenny Wise.
An unidentified St. Aloysius School volunteer holds up an item to be auctioned off at Saturday’s 14th annual Irish Auction fundraiser. (Photo by Stephen Huba)
There was dinner for six at the home of Bishop George V. Murry of the Diocese of Youngstown.
And there was a "cookies for a year" package-two dozen cookies for eight holidays, plus a cookie tray-donated by Becky Buchheit.
They were among the hundreds of items-all of them donated by local businesses, parents and school supporters-that were auctioned off at the annual St. Aloysius fundraiser. Auctioneer was the Sell's Auction Service of Wellsville.
"In this room, you feel the energy of East Liverpool," said St. Aloysius parent Josee Daniel, event chairwoman. "Even though it's a small town, there's a dynamic in which local businesses support their customers, and customers support the businesses."
Daniel has a son who is a third-grader at St. Aloysius, a daughter who is graduating this year from the K-8 school, and another daughter who is an alumna.
Parents send their children to the school because of the quality of the education and the small class sizes, she said. "This school provides an excellent education and helps families raise their kids," she said. "Kids get personalized attention. That's priceless."
St. Aloysius, 335 W. Fifth St., the parish school for Holy Trinity Catholic Church, has an enrollment of 94 students, according to a school profile posted on the Diocese of Youngstown's Web site.
Daniel said the auction helps the school provide $200 to $250 in tuition assistance to each student. Annual tuition for non-parishioners is about $3,000, she said.
The Rev. Peter Haladej, Holy Trinity pastor, said last year's auction raised $30,000 for the school. "It's one of three major fundraisers ... that support the mission of the church, which is to form the children in the light of the Gospel."
The auction is organized by parents, many of whom also donate items for the auction. On Saturday, in addition to the regular auction, there was a Chinese auction, a silent auction, a 50/50 drawing, a lottery ticket tree and a gift certificate tree valued at $850.
"Parents of the children work very hard for several weeks, and the people respond very generously," Haladej said. "It's a credit to the community."
Among the most popular items at auction are projects made by students. This year, the second-grade class made a complete meal in personalized jars. There were calendars, scrapbooks and class portraits. The all-class project was a table whose top was decorated with colorful handprints.
Daniel said parent volunteers are integral to the auction effort. "Every single family helps or donates in some way. It's an amazing phenomenon," she said.