By ROBERT PIERCE
• Daily Leader
Saturday night, the Activity Center will be transformed into a circus theme as Seward County Community College/Area Technical School presents its annual development foundation party auction.
The theme for this year’s auction is Cirque d’Etoiles, or Circus of the Stars, and SCCC/ATS Development Foundation Director Tammy Doll said the event will feature plenty of activities.
“We’ve got the live auction, silent auction, 50/50 drawing, lucky draw,” she said. “Those are our standard events for the auction. We’ll have student entertainment being coordinated by our vocal music instruction. The cheer and dance coach is going to bring some of her team members to do tumbling, acrobatics. We’ll also have juggler. It’s not a three-ring circus, but it’s a variety of entertainment. With that theme, it’ll be very colorfully decorated.”
Great Western Dining will provide catering for the event. National Beef will provide brisket, and Seaboard has donated pork loin.
“They’ll have a fool menu – pork, beef, shrimp, a dessert bar, chocolate fountain,” Doll said. “The $20 ticket get you in the door to eat. We’ll have beer, wine, soft drinks and the live and silent auction.”
Doll said tickets in the 50/50 drawing will be $1. The winner will be drawn during the live auction, and the pot will be split between the foundation and the winner.
Tickets for the auction can be purchased at these businesses: the Community Bank; Sunflower Bank; Byron Bird and Associates; KSCB; Scantlin’s Furniture; Al Shank Insurance; Mortgages Unlimited; First National Bank of Liberal; Southwest Agri Center of Kismet; Bank of Beaver City, Liberal; Yoxall Antrim Yoxall Fitzgerald and McCaffrey; Golden Plains Credit Union; Jim Kuharic Law Firm of Hugoton; SCCC/ATS; or from SCCC/ATS foundation board members and auction committee members.
“We’re putting a link on the college Web page so you can purchase tickets online, or you can call my office and purchase them with a credit card,” Doll said. “We’ll sell through Wednesday.”
The number to the foundation office is (620) 417-1131. Tickets will only be sold in advance.
Doll said there are also a lot of different items in this year’s auction.
“We’ve got a gas powered scooter from Chrysler Corner, a three-night getaway to Red River donated by Jim and Connie Yoxall,” she said. “We’ve got a floating diamond pendant necklace from Staats. Collin’s is giving a Pandora charm bracelet.”
Tickets to KU basketball games will also be auctioned off, and SCCC/ATS President Dr. Duane Dunn will have some prizes available from the K-State Student Union Bookstore.
“We’ll have something for the Wildcat fans,” Doll said.
At a recent meeting, the college’s board of trustees approved a new item for this year’s auction.
“We also are going to auction off naming rights to the circle drive on campus for a year,” Doll said. “You can have your name on the drive for a year if you’ve got the winning bid. We’re hoping to make it an annual auction item.”
Another prize will likewise feature a circus theme, according to Doll.
“We are also going to have tickets to Cirque Du Soleil – Alegria in Wichita,” she said. “It’ll be Jan. 2. We’ll have four tickets to the show. I think that’ll be a great auction item. You won’t have to go all the way to Vegas to see the show.”
Though she was unsure of the actual enrollment numbers for this year, Doll did say the college has many enrollments from Outreach areas and concurrently enrolled high school students, and there is always a need for scholarships.
“The price of books does not go down. It only goes up,” she said. “Students need a lot of books for their classes. Tuition rates did change slightly – not for in-state students, but out-of-state students. We always have more applicants than we have scholarships.”
Doll said last year’s party auction, which celebrated the college’s 40th anniversary, had good numbers, and she is looking to improve on that.
“My goal is always to better the year before,” she said. “Last year, it was $41,000. Attendance last year, we had about 400 people. I’d like to see 500 there. I don’t know what the turnout will be. It’s hard to predict.”
Doll said last year’s auction went well despite some particular factors.
“The way the economy was last year, I was very, very pleased with the turnout and the amount of money we raised,” she said.
Doll said she would like to thank those who helped with putting the auction together.
“This auction is only possible because of the donations from people in our community and the businesses, and all of the money goes to support student scholarships,” she said. “We hope that we have a really good turnout. I hope that people who haven’t come before will come out. They need to make sure they get their tickets in advance.”