The students of Longview Elementary School will move into a new school building next year, and the school PTA has taken on the task of raising $50,000 for playground equipment for the new school.
The PTA will kick off its fundraising Sept. 27 with a silent auction at the Hickory Museum of Art that will offer the public an opportunity to take home some one-of-a-kind artwork.
The school’s Chair-ity Event will auction more than 100 pieces of furniture, including 60 solid oak school chairs taken out of the old Grandview Elementary School in Hickory as well as school desks and tables, rocking chairs, bar stools and other furniture that has been painted and decorated by local artists.
Many of the artists are professionals, while some are talented people who care about the school, PTA Treasurer Anita Freund said.
The new school is under construction on the site of the old Grandview Elementary.
Sixty-six artists painted the furniture pieces, each with its own theme. Buyers can find designs including collegiate mascots and logos for Appalachian State University, UNC Chapel Hill and Lenoir-Rhyne University, floral designs, landscapes, cartoon characters and patriotic designs.
“We have artists from all over the area as well as one from Raleigh. We have all levels of skill represented, from professional artists to some third-graders. We also have a 92-year-old folk artist,” said Freund.
In addition to the $50,000 for the playground, the PTA has challenged the school’s teachers and staff to raise $10,000, Freund said. The school would ideally like to have $80,000 for the playground equipment, she said.
The teachers are planning to sell raffle tickets for a flat-screen television beginning in October, she said. Plans are to have the playground furnished when the new school opens in fall 2014.
“Longview Elementary is a depressed school; 90 percent of the students are from families that are at or below poverty level, so money is tight in the school community,” Freund said. “We issued a call for artists, and we had no problem getting artists to participate. We even had people donate additional pieces of furniture so what began as 60 pieces quickly became 115 pieces. We have children’s and adult furniture.”
The silent auction is part of a three-day fundraising event that will begin Sept. 26, when Longview students and parents will be invited to an after-school preview party at the museum. They will have the opportunity to preview the painted furniture and participate in artistic activities prepared for them by the museum’s docents.
“We want the children to see that people have gone out of their way to help them get the playground equipment,” said Freund.
During the day on Sept. 27, the public is invited to preview the furniture at the museum. The Chair-ity Event and silent auction will be from 7 to 9 p.m. that evening. Admission costs $10, and tickets can be bought at the museum, at Longview Elementary or at Thrifty Lion. Advance ticket purchase is suggested because of limited space at the museum. Refreshments will be served.
The Sept. 27 evening event also will include a silent auction for gift baskets and other donated items. Any furniture not sold at auction will be on sale at the museum Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Charlene H. Carpenter is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Charlene? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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