The Whispering Palms School raised a few thousand during its 7th annual Wine and Tapas Auction at the Hyatt Regency Saipan last Jan. 27.
The annual auction, organized by Angie Mister, garnered an estimated $4,000 in funds, said Whispering Palms head of school Jeff La Roux.
“This is the first time that I have experienced this but the support from the community is tremendous. The community has given us $6,000 worth of donations,” said La Roux.
It was also the first time that Whispering Palms School students participated in the auction. Children were not allowed to enter the auction area, though, because of the wine tasting.
“We had our students create projects, such as photographs and artwork and auctioned them off. I went to each classroom thanking them for being like their parents by supporting the school,” said La Roux.
The students made art pieces painted on old wooden palettes; photography; and a montage containing the tiny hands of preschoolers in the shape of hearts photographed by teachers.
The highlight of the auction was the skydiving tickets for two and the customized and hand-painted Malcolm Campbell surfboard.
The skydiving tickets, courtesy of Skydive Saipan, went to Christem Steinkuller for $275. The hand-painted Malcolm Campbell surfboard, which was donated to the school by Whispering Palms resident art teacher Nadia Richards, sold for $259 to Will Ordosgoiti.
La Roux said the fundraiser started as a small group composed of Mister and her friends until it got bigger and bigger every year.
The money raised from the auction would got to the special programs of the school.
“We are redoing the elementary playground. We take all of our kids to Managaha [Island]. I even take all of our 8th graders to Europe. We would be going to Lithuania, Germany, and Netherlands in May,” said La Roux.