The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 28, 2003


Carlisle looks forward to auction March 15

As a snowy winter shows the first signs of melting into spring, Carlisle residents are looking forward to "celebrating the future" at the first ever CEF/CSA Auction for the Carlisle Public School. The auction, which will take place Saturday, March 15 at the Middlesex School on Lowell Road in Concord, features over two hundred offerings, running the gamut from an Adam Vinatieri-signed football to an exclusive vacation at a Florida resort.

But behind the glamour of a night of dining and dancing is the story of how the entire community, from parents to seniors, from teachers to police, from small businesses to large, and from pre-school children to eighth graders, contributed in creative ways to making the auction a success. "We're finding out some neat things about the people in town," says CEF chair Jeff Brown. "The donations we've received reflect a range of hobbies and interests. There's really a lot of talent in Carlisle."

Drawing on local connections and talent

The auction features many "big ticket" items. Sports fans will be pleased to bid on a Joe Thornton-signed jersey and other sports memorabilia, as well as Celtics, Red Sox and Patriot tickets. A Harry Potter picture signed by the movie stars has been donated by Todd Arnow of East Street, who was unit production manager for the movies. Prime recreational outings include golf, sailing, rafting, fishing, cross-country skiing, tennis camp and flying. A number of residents have generously offered use of vacation homes in prime locations, including Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod, Cape Ann, the White Mountains, Florida, and Colorado.

But perhaps what will be equally in demand are the services offered by talented and creative community members. Need a home design, landscaping or arborist consultation? There are several to choose from. A PC guru to straighten out your computers, or a handyman to get your house in shape? Cooking, tennis or skiing lessons? Baby-sitting or petcare? Artwork by a Carlisle artisan to decorate your home? A rock band, or an all-inclusive champagne reception with wine expert for your next party? The auction is the place to go.

Teachers, police get into the act

Carlisle teachers will be providing a variety of services that appeal to kids. How much would you pay for your child and his/her friends to go to a Lock Monsters hockey game with Bill Tate and Steve Little? To play football with assistant principal Steve Goodwin and Glenn Maher on the plaza? To challenge the basketball "dream team" of eight talented teachers? How would your child like to avoid the cafeteria rush with a pizza party in Suzie Brinner's classroom? What about a pajama party in the school library, courtesy of Sandy Kelly, or a bedtime story at your house read by Sandy Fee? Would your child like to be principal-for-the-day, Grand Marshall at the Halloween Parade, or gym teacher-for-a-class? What about the first to learn about a snow day via a personal call from superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson?

The Carlisle Police may have equaled the teachers in the "awesome" category with their offering of a Joy Ride with Chief Galvin. Galvin's four temporary partners (including a parent) will have the opportunity to perform station duties and learn how to book a prisoner, go on patrol, respond to calls, and operate the speed enforcement radar. A breakfast of bagels, juice and coffee will be included (what, no donuts?). The police are also offering a chauffeured ride to school in a police car.

Students offer handicrafts

Students in Mr. Gale's fourth grade classroom work on painted book shelves for the upcoming auction on March 15. Parent volunteers in the background are Andy Veitch and Pamela Blair. (Photo by Laura Snowdon)
For the past several weeks, students at the Carlisle School have worked diligently on handmade items to be auctioned on March 15. Says CSA president Deb Dawson, "It's been wonderful to see the excitement and enthusiasm the auction has generated. The kids are very pleased to be part of something to help their school, and teachers, parents, and staff have generously donated their time, energy and talents to come up with creative projects."

Each class has chosen a project to which every student can contribute. For example, each kindergarten class has decorated a garden bench, table, book bin or toy box. Even the preschool is contributing student-decorated "good luck" mirrors and treasure chests. Other classes have worked on gift baskets, bird and bathouses, platters, quilts, a ceramic mobile, a cookbook of favorite kid recipes, bookshelves (stocked with best-loved books), note cards, and floor cloths, all contributed, painted or decorated by students. A third grade class will offer their recording of original songs by teacher Mr. Stamell. Each sixth grade class has contributed a decorated bird bath, and each seventh grade class a mosaic table.

"One of the things I'm most looking forward to on auction night is seeing what the kids have done," says CEF chair Jeff Brown. "It's a real testament to the teachers and administration that have embraced the auction and found ways for students to do something meaningful, and to the more than seventy parents that provided classroom help."

Corporate donations surpass expectations

Until recently, the CEF relied on a two-day fair known as the Pig 'n Pepper Harvest Festival as their main fund-raiser. According to Brown, one concern when the foundation dropped the Pig 'n Pepper in favor of an auction was whether they would still draw money from outside the community. "With the small business base in Carlisle we knew we'd have to find ways to reach outside," says Brown. "We were pleasantly surprised at how successful we were."

Carlisle may be small, but professional connections are strong, as evidenced by the value of corporate donations. Reichheld Family Orthodontics of Westford, the practice of Carlisle resident Jay Reichheld, is offering a full orthodontic treatment worth $4,500. Blue Jay Recording of Bedford Rd. has donated 12 hours recording time worth $3,000 at their studio patronized by Jay Geils, Billy Joel, and Aerosmith. Reebok has donated a top-of-the-line treadmill worth over $2,000 thanks to the intercession of auction acquisitions chair Marty Blue.

Two 5-course dinners with wine at Lumiere in West Newton were donated by Carlisle owners Jill and Michael Leviton. Donations of plants and manure have come from local businesses Trade Secret Gardens, Blanchettes, Seawrights and the Duffy family. Mahoney's Garden Centers, owned by the Mahoney family of Nowell Farme Road, has donated the decorations for the dinner. In addition, several businesses have made cash donations.

Tickets selling out

Fourth graders Tommy Veitch and Curran Wilmot proudly display their decorated book shelf. (Photo by Laura Snowdon)
As we go to press only forty tickets remain out of two hundred fifty, and the event is expected to sell out. Says Brown, "It's gratifying to see the support we've received" not only in ticket sales and donations, but in time and energy. "That to me has been one of the neatest things how many people have pitched in and helped out." He points to the "unsung heroes" who have devoted many hours to making the auction a success. "It's been great fun, and very satisfying to see the group come together and bond." Adds Dawson, "This is an effort that has involved everyone students, teachers, parents, the Carlisle police, local business people, and many other community members. Though not everyone will attend the auction, it is truly a community event."

Whether you can attend the auction or not, check out the catalog on line. You don't need to purchase a ticket to submit an e-mail bid (see below). Many items are relatively inexpensive, and there could be some great bargains. "There's tremendous variety, really something for everyone," says Brown. Adds Dawson, "Best of all, it's for an excellent cause our own public school."

The auction takes place Saturday, March 15 at Middlesex School in Concord from 6:00 p.m. to midnight (silent auction preview from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.). Dress is "smart casual." Dinner offerings include curried chicken, beef sate, Asian noodle salad, cinnamon scented lamb and beef, shrimp ragout, quesadilla's, and other offerings, as well as a dessert station. "The Knights" band will provide live music.

Tickets are $50 per person available by contacting Ginny Lamere at 1-978-369-8210 or by picking up a form at Daisy's or the library. There is a $3 charge for alcoholic beverages. There is no charge for e-mail bidding or for the silent auction preview. The catalog can be viewed starting March 1 by following the "auction" links from All proceeds benefit the Carlisle Public School.

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito