Q: What is this year’s theme?
A: Jazz Up Gatewood is a tribute to the Jazz Age. It’s about early 1900s fun and the social awakening that ensued. It’s also the perfect excuse to dress up, hang with friends and raise a bunch of money for our kids.
Q: What kinds of items can I donate?
A: If you own a service business, you can donate services like legal services, handy person, landscaping, building, cleaning, cooking, home organization, etc.
If you own a restaurant or a salon, you can donate gift cards to your establishment.
If you’re “kind of a big deal” and have a vacation home, cabin, sail boat, yacht, private plane, etc., you can offer it up for vacation rental or tours.
You can buy and donate gift cards to your favorite restaurants.
You can host a party for other Gatewood Families. Possible theme ideas include: Game Night, Backyard Movie Night, Sushi Making, Tapas and Wine, Tequila Tasting, etc.
You can rent out the Coleman Pool and host a Gatewood family swim night or rent a few lanes at a bowling alley and sponsor a Gatewood bowling night,
You can donate wine, wine and more wine for our popular Wine Bottle Ring Toss.
You can cut a check or donate cash to Gatewood PTA.
Also, please check if your employer has a matching policy. The Gates Foundation triples your donation. Boeing, Microsoft and other companies also have matching policies.
Q: Do I need to a have a student at Gatewood in order to attend?
A: Nope. Jazz Up Gatewood is a great way to meet people, whether you have a younger child who will eventually attend Gatewood or you wish to grow your network among the Gatewood community. Also, feel free to invite grandparents or your DINK (double income no kids) friends who are looking for a worthy tax deduction.
Q: Where does my donation go?
A: Your generosity helps Gatewood Elementary fund school supplies, literacy support, after school clubs, music and STEM opportunities, playground renovations, and PTA sponsored events. It’s essential to giving our kids the best education possible.
Q: Is there a dress code?
A: No. People often come in costumes that fit the theme, but it’s not required. This year’s theme suggests flapper dresses and Great Gatsby attire, but everything from jeans to cocktail dresses to tuxedoes is totally cool. Maybe not bike shorts.
Q: Can kids come to the auction?
A: Sorry, this is an adults-only event. But, hey you never have enough date nights, right? There will be a childcare option for Gatewood students at the Gatewood gym for a fee - details to come.
Q: How does the Art Walk support the auction?
A: The Art Walk takes place on March 15th and is an opportunity for any parents, family or friends unable to attend the auction on Friday night to check out the class art projects and purchase individual students’ art work.
Q: If I can't come to the auction, can I still participate?
A: Yes. We always accept cash donations. Also, you can donate items, you can volunteer, you can sponsor a teacher’s attendance ticket, or you can give permission to a friend attending to bid on your behalf.
Q: What’s the difference between the silent auction and live auction?
A: The silent auction happens first, from the time the doors open until 7:30 pm. There are three rows of tables filled with items and each row closes for bidding at a different time. Attendees bid on items by writing down their numbers and bid price on the sheet in front of the item. Remember to keep an eye on items you’ve bid on to make sure you haven’t been out-bid. If there’s an item you absolutely must have, there’s a “buy it now” price at the bottom of the bid sheet.
The live auction happens after dinner. Our emcee and auctioneer describe the items for bid and the starting price. Once the auction starts, simply raise your card to bid at the current asking price. The auctioneer will continue to raise the asking price until there’s one winner.
Q: Should I come in with a budget?
A: Yes. As much as we appreciate you helping Gatewood, it’s smart for you to know what you can afford going in. If you’re attending as a couple, it’s probably wise to update each other on bids you’ve made, so you’re not surprised at the end of the night. If you go over your budget, remind yourself, it's for the kids.
Q: What are drink tickets?
A: Throughout the auction, you use your bid number to purchase all items instead of cash. Thus, you need to get drink tickets from a volunteer (or purchase ahead of time when you buy your ticket). One ticket is $5. One ticket purchases you a beer, a glass of wine, or our signature cocktail. With X tickets, you can purchase an entire bottle of wine to keep you sufficiently hydrated while you bid.
Q: What if my partner uses up all our drink tickets?
A: Fortunately, you can always buy more drink tickets using your bid number from volunteers near the bar. Please drink responsibly. We can help arrange a safe ride home, if necessary.
Q: What is a “dessert dash?”
A: Each table will collectively pool their money to purchase a dessert. The table with the highest bid will be given the honor of first choice from the dessert table. But you'd better run fast, because more tables will be right on your heels. Tables will continue to choose a dessert in descending order of the total table bid.
Q: What are parent/teacher adventures?
A: These are special events where parents and teachers offer experiences with a group of adults or students. They’re available during the silent auction, with limited spots available. You can secure your spot with your bid number. If you’re interested in sponsoring your own event, it’s a great way to get involved.
Q: What if I have special dietary restrictions?
A:Let the Auction Committee know on your RSVP and we'll make sure you're taken care of.
Q: Can I drink beer at Stephanie Arthur’s lemon drop night?
A: If you bring it, you can drink it. Steph provides Lemon Drops, food, and a killer view. Anything else is BYOB. The most important thing is to come, have a great time, and maybe plan to walk home.
Q: Can I drink lemon drops at Paul Arthur’s Beer and Bourbon night?
A: Do you see an L in BBBBBB (Big Boys Belgium Beer & Bourbon Bash)? No, Paul will not be providing Lemon Drops. But again, if you bring it, you can drink it. Just be prepared for mockery.
Q: Do I need to arrive right when the auction event starts?
A: Not necessarily. But arriving early gets you first crack at the silent auction items and there are shorter lines at the bar.
Q: Do I have to stay the entire time?
A: No, but the night does get progressively more fun as it goes on, culminating with the live auction. Do you really want to miss out on tipsy Gatewood parents trying to outbid each other for their kids’ art projects? We think not.
Q: How is dinner seating assigned?
A: You can request who you’d like to be seated with or leave it to chance and let the auction committee assign seats. If you want to guarantee sitting with friends, you can purchase a table of 10 and divide the cost. If you do purchase a table, you get the added bonus of 2 bottles of wine.
Q: What if I don’t know anyone?
A: Chances are you will. If not, it’s a great opportunity to make new friends at your table and at the silent auction. Sign up for the women’s Lemon Drop party or the men’s BBBBB party to meet more members of the Gatewood community.
Q: Do I need to bring cash?
A: You don’t have to. When you check in, you’ll get a bid number that will be tied to your credit card. You use your bid number for all purchases throughout the evening – including drink tickets, games, silent bids, and live bids. Your credit card will be processed for all of your winning bids at the end of the evening.
Q: If I win an auction item can I change my mind later?
A: Sorry. All bids are final. Remind yourself, it's for the kids.
Q: What is Bidding for the Cycle?
A: During the Live Auction, there’s an opportunity to bid a direct donation to the school. This is simply donating money without getting an item in return, except a great tax write off. There will be bid increments for this, starting at $XXXX and going down to $25. Bidding for the Cycle is when a generous bidder bids on every increment.
Q: Is crying involved?
A: Typically. There is usually a video or speech that draws attention to the Gatewood community and how much the money raised means for our teachers and students.
Q: Is there an auction After Party?
A: Yes. Location is still TBD. Last year, we did Whisky West. Make sure to ask Steph Arthur about the time she got a ride home from the after party in a cop car.
Q: Can I bid on any items before auction day?
Q: Oops, I forgot to RSVP on time! Can I still attend?
A: A qualified maybe. If there’s room, we’ll do our best to accommodate. E-mail the Auction Chair to see if tickets are still available. We’ll do our best to accommodate you. You’ll want to RSVP early to guarantee a spot.
At Gatewood Elementary, our goal is to give every child the richest, most positive education possible. And Bids for Kids continues to be Gatewood’s largest fundraiser of the year to help make that happen.
Gatewood PTA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. ID#91-1896591.