LIBERAL, Kan. — The 29th Annual Seward County Community College Foundation party auction is more than a month away, but planning is already in high gear for the signature fundraiser. The fall festival, starting at 6 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Seward County Activity Center, will feature a catered meal provided by Lanning Brothers BBQ and Great Western Dining, a silent auction filled with must-have, one-of-a-kind items, and a live auction.
“We’re pretty excited about the options we are offering in the live auction,” said SCCC Associate Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Engagement Sarah Thompson. “A weeklong vacation to Orlando, Fla. for a family of four, an all-inclusive seven-night stay in Puerto Plata resort in the Dominican Republic, a golfing foursome trip to Myrtle Beach.” For guests who want to get away from the everyday grind closer to home, “there’s a massage chair, and a $500 gas card.”
The 2022 fundraiser was a record-breaker, netting nearly $97,000. Thompson is aiming to go even farther this year.
“We are aiming to raise $100,000,” she said. “Our community sponsors are outstanding and have been so generous. People have really stepped it up a notch and I believe we can break the $100 thousand mark.”
Thompson said the sense of excitement about SCCC has been palpable as auction volunteers seek donations.
“People are just really excited about the agriculture program and how it’s growing, the addition of eSports and soccer, and all the construction on campus,” she said. “There’s a lot for people to be proud of, and to know they played a part in sparking the change — it really helps to see the results of their contributions.”
Thompson emphasized the primary focus is Saints students.
“We raise these funds to support student scholarships and programs, and that is the underlying reason for why we push hard to increase every year,” she said. “Those are dollars that directly benefit our students who in turn go out to the world and make a difference.”
Thompson said the auction will offer longstanding favorites in its silent auction, including handmade quilts, “tons of restaurant gift certificates and service certificates from local professionals and businesses, some autographed sports memorabilia and potentially some professional sports tickets.” Artsy options include works by local painters, painting parties, culinary experiences, and an espresso machine.
Small changes to the auction this year include a return to the all-inclusive entry wristband, priced at $30, which covers the catered meal, beverages including wine and beer, and entry to the auction events. Although the auction theme varied in the past, Thompson said the Foundation has moved away from elaborate party themes to focus on the ultimate purpose of the night: supporting students and programs.
“We are committed to making it enjoyable for guests, but our focus is on the function more than a theme,” Thompson noted. “This is something that makes a lifelong difference for students, and a long-term difference for our community, and that in itself is worth celebrating.”
Wristband “tickets” must be purchased in advance and cost $30 per person. To buy yours, call the Foundation office at SCCC at 620-417-1135, or log in to scccfoundation.org to purchase online and reserve your wristband for pickup at the door. Please note: no wristbands can be sold the night of the auction.