Teachers throughout Macon County hope to continue offering enhanced learning experiences in their classrooms this year, with the help of community donations.
On Saturday, March 26, the Macon County Academic Foundation held its 24th annual Academic Auction at Cartoogechaye Elementary. Proceeds from the event are set aside every year to fund future educational activities for classes throughout the county. Teachers interested in enriching their classes with such activities can then request the funds from the school system.
The funds are consistently sought out every year by public school teachers throughout the county, according to Community Schools Coordinator Pam Collins. “One month we may have two or three, or four or five [grant requests], one month we may only have one. It just depends on what’s going on in the classrooms of Macon County,” she said.
More than 500 locals attended the event, bidding on a plethora of items donated by local businesses. Everything from haircuts to oil changes to restaurant gift certificates, handmade dulcimers, beach vacation getaways and even a 42” flat screen television were up for grabs.
The event was complete with a barbecue dinner and musical performances. Several local restaurants donated the food, including Fat Buddies, Cash’s BBQ, Normandi and Sunset restaurants. The Macon Middle School Chorus and the Nikwasi Dulcimer Players performed at the event.
“I think it was one of the best fundraisers we’ve had,” said Macon County Academic Foundation president Joey Curtis. “I was surprised. I thought the rain would keep people indoors, but apparently not.” Curtis has been president of the non-profit organization for nine years. More than $12,000 was raised at the event, he added. Last year $8,000 was raised at the auction.
Curtis thanked the citizens of Macon County for their participation in the auction. “I can’t say how much I appreciate the county turning out and supporting the Academic Foundation like it did,” he said, remarking that the public has always provided outstanding support throughout the years. “They never fail to support us in anything we do.”
Curtis also thanked the local business community for their support. “The businesses in Macon County never fail to come through for us,” he said. “Without their support we could not do anything that we do.” Curtis encourages the public to shop locally if at all possible. “That’s the only way that we can have these kinds of fundraising events.”