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Seward Party Auction helps future generations attend college PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 09 September 2017 14:40

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By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times



Seward County Community College is going back to the Eighties.

Okay, so not literally back to the eighties, but at the school’s annual Party Auction, hosted by the college’s alumni association and foundation, those who enter the Seward County Activity Center next Saturday will have a feel of the decade greeting them as they come through the doors.

The party will get underway at 6 p.m. Saturday, with doors promptly opening at 6. Unlike past years, though, there are no tickets available at the door, and they must be purchased in advance.

“We’re only selling 400 tickets,” said SCCC Annual Giving Officer Chandler Kirkhart. “We are running short on supplies on tickets, so if there’s anybody still looking for tickets, they need to call us at 620-417-1135 to get those to them.”

Tickets are $35 and can be found at the admissions desk and the foundation office at SCCC, as well as several locations in Liberal

“We also have a few businesses in town that are selling them – First National Bank, both the main branch and the Walmart branch, Mortgages Unlimited, Sunflower Bank, Windtree, Al Shank Insurance, Heritage Realty and Bank of Beaver City,” Kirkhart said.

Tickets can likewise be bought online through the Facebook page “Back to the 80s Party Auction,” which takes buyers back to the alumni association’s web page. Kirkhart said this is a much easier route to find tickets online.

As for the fun the evening will bring, there will be live and silent auctions, both with a list of many neat items up for bid.

“Many have never been in the auction before,” Kirkhart said. “There’s going to be a few that have made an appearance many times over. One of them is the naming of the circle drive.”

Southwest Airlines donated a Boeing 737 flight simulation for six people to this year’s auction, and Liberal’s hometown water park donated a big prize too, as did some other local businesses.

“If you’ve got a family or a bunch of friends in your neighborhood is a private catered party for 40 at Adventure Bay,” Kirkhart said. “We had a beautiful white and black diamond pendant donated by Staats Jewelers. One that my wife is probably going to have me buy for her is the bouquet of flowers each month for a year. I can just see that one coming.”

While all of the money raised from the auction items is going to a good cause, one item in particular is going to another cause as well.

“We have a solid wood handmade flag that is really neat,” Kirkhart said. “It was made by a veteran that has his own company. Any money that he makes through his company gets sent to veterans in need, and we had a donor donate that to us. So really, it went to two different good causes.”

Something new for this year’s Party Auction is a mystery item.

“It’s going to be a very high-quality item,” Kirkhart said. “We’re not going to tell what it is, but it’s going to have a ‘buy now.’ Whoever writes their bid number on it first gets it. If it doesn’t sell, no one finds out what it is, and it’ll go in for next year if we have to. Hopefully, there’s a few curious people that are willing to pull out their wallets for it, and we’ll see what it is.”

And science fiction fans will have a piece of movie history to take home, at least for one lucky bidder.

“We have a Star Wars memorabilia picture signed by the late Carrie Fisher,” Kirkhart said. “It has its certificate of authenticity, and that will be up for auction as well.”

Entertainment will likewise be part of the evening provided by SCCC students.

“We have our students singing and playing,” Kirkhart said. “One thing we’ve got this year here on campus that we haven’t in the past is we have a rock band here on campus. I call it a rock band. They’re going to be playing a lot of Eighties music for us at the event. They’ve been practicing on the weekends, and from what I’ve been told by Darrin Workman, they’re really good.”

Kirkhart encouraged all who come to the Party Auction to dress up for the night, and in addition to the live and silent auctions and live entertainment, there will be food as well.

“Wine, beer and soft drinks are included with the tickets as well as barbecue, which is pulled pork and beef brisket donated by Seaboard Foods and National Beef,” he said.

Kirkhart recently took over control of the Party Auction following the retirement of former SCCC Development Foundation Director Tammy Doll, and he said the experience has been an eye-opening one to say the least.

“Every single business here in town, I have dealt with one way or another, and I’ve met more people in the last three months than I have in the last few years here in the city of Liberal, which is really great,” he said.

Kirkhart previously worked in SCCC’s admissions office in different capacities before becoming the annual givings officer, and he said he has gotten a different perspective from his short time in his current position.

“I’m getting to know my family here at Seward County Community College at a completely different level,” he said. “Going from admissions work where you get to talk in depth about the aspirations and goals of these students or these potential students, I now get to go and talk about the same thing, but with our employees, with the people of the community. Those are some really great conversations. Yes, it’s been busy work getting this ready to go, but during those solicitations for items and for volunteers, I’ve really gotten to know a lot of people here on campus at a depth I hadn’t been able to do in the past.”

As for the college’s scholarship fund levels, Kirkhart said those have been steadily growing in recent years.

“It’s been growing very much, especially in the last few years with our capital campaigns going on with our Sharpe Family Champions Center and our Colvin Allied Health Center,” he said. “We are in the process, with our capital campaign for the Colvin Allied Health Center, moving it here on campus, building a completely different building. Both of those have been going on, and the foundation’s as strong as it’s ever been.”


 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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