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Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Pathfinder K-8 Annual Auction . . .

Why do we have a school auction?

The auction is our biggest fundraiser of the year. All the monies raised go directly to supporting important and vital programs sponsored by the PTSA, including: Earth Project, After School Classes, Scholarships, Field Trips, Outdoor Education, Support Staff, and more. There’s more information about the PTSA budget here.

I’ve never been to an auction, what should I expect?

When you arrive, you will be given a “paddle” with your bidder number on it. The auction starts with a silent auction which is a room filled with several tables (or sections) of items to bid on each closing at a different times. When you see an item that you like, write down your assigned bid number next to the price you are willing to pay. Remember to check on them several times during the evening to make sure that you haven’t been outbid. The closing times will be listed in your program and the auctioneer will make sure to let you knoq when those times are coming up. After the silent auction is over, you will head to dinner and the live auction, which includes a dessert dash.

How does the live auction work?

To bid on an item, hold up your bidder number and watch to make sure the auctioneer acknowledges your bid. You may need to raise your paddle several times if you are willing to pay more than others for an item. You will also have the opportunity to donate to Fund-A-Need – direct donations to support a specific item or program. The auctioneer will ask bidders to make a cash donation at specific dollar amounts; many people can donate at the various amounts. Fund-a-need donations are fully tax-deductible.

What is the dessert dash all about?

You will see a display of beautiful, mouth-watering & tantalizing desserts. At each table, there will be a dessert auction envelope—each guest is encouraged to add money (cash or via bid number) to the envelope. Your table also designates one person to act as a “runner”. The envelopes will be collected and the amount donated at each table will be counted. After dinner, the table numbers will be announced in order of the most money donated to the least, and your designated person ‘runs’ to get the best remaining dessert. The more money your table donates, the better your dessert choice!

Interested in donating a dessert? Contact

Do I have to wear a prom outfit?

No, but it does add a level of fun if you come dressed for the prom! Or, you can come in your fancy going out clothes, or not. It’s up to you!

Do I have to spend a lot of money?

This is our major fundraiser so the goal is to raise a lot of money! But of course you are not obligated to buy items or to spend a certain amount of money. Items in the silent auction range from gift certificates to larger items and often items that you would purchase anyway (dance lessons, dry cleaning, haircuts). Price ranges vary on the bidding action for each item, but generally there is always great stuff for every budget!

Can I attend the dinner and auction without purchasing a ticket?

Yes, if you volunteer! It won’t include the sit-down dinner but if you sign up to volunteer the night of the auction you will receive a bidder number to use at the Silent and Live Auctions. A separate dinner in the Volunteer VIP room will be served.

How can I buy tickets?

Tickets go on sale January 24th and will be $65 per person through February 7th. After that, the price will be $70 per person.  The ticket price covers our costs for the meal and the venue. Ticket price also includes a bidder number to use in both the Silent and Live auctions, games, and the chance to be a part of the vibrant and unique Pathfinder Community.

How is payment handled?

We are happy to offer “express checkout” again this year. At registration (when you purchase your tickets online), we can pre-authorize your credit card. At the end of the evening, simply pick up all the items you “won,” and go on your way. Your card will be charged and a final statement mailed to you a few days after the auction. If you choose to pay with cash/check, pick up your items from the silent/live auction and make your way to the cashier/check-out area. Your friendly cashiers will provide a total all of your bids and expenses for the evening, and can take cash, checks or credit cards.

Is there a way to only donate to the Staff/Teacher ticket fund, or the Group Event Scholarships for a child?

Yes, there is! Stay tuned for January 24th and thank you for your support.

Is it OK to bring my own wine?

Beer and wine will be available for purchase. You must use your bidder number at the bar. Please do not BYOB as we are responsible for corkage fees and our license/contract requires that Hall at Fauntleroy handle all serving of alcoholic beverages.

I’ll be out of town and can’t come to the auction. There a few items I really want – what can I do?

Contact a friend who’s attending and ask them to make bids for you. We are also very happy to accept direct donations, or contributions for Fund-a-Need even if you can’t be there in person. These donations are fully tax-deductible. Just send us a check (payable to Pathfinder PTSA) and let us know if you want it targeted to Fund-a-Need or if it’s a general donation. You can also make a direct donation to Pathfinder here.

Who should I contact to volunteer or if I need more info?

You may contact the auction chair Holly Rikhof at <> with questions about the auction or if you would like to volunteer. There will also be an Auction Volunteer Signup Genius you can use to select the perfect job for you.