GEL EXCLUSIVE: Glen Ellyn St Petronille School Rock the Block Auction Party Fundraiser Raises Spirits for Education

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With the economy looking like Saturday's forecast - rain and dark skies - spirits couldn’t have been any higher inside St Petronille’s for their 19th annual school fundraiser.

Organizers couldn’t have planned it any better. The theme for this year’s event, titled Rock the Block Auction Party, was built on conservation, reuse, and recycle. The focal point of the auction - appropriately enough - were 9 rain barrels custom painted by students in each grade. The rain barrel concept evolved from a science project in the 6th grade classes. Every year it is tradition for each class to donate an item for the auction and this year the rain barrel donation became an all school project. By combining science classes and the auction together St. Petronille educated students from K- 8th about rain barrel conservation and gave the attendees of the auction an opportunity to bid on a one of a kind piece of art.View photos of Rain Barrels here.

Last September, committee chairs looked at ways to cut costs in hosting the event by finding ways to reuse or recycle. The Rock the Block Party theme evolved. “We thought the theme would keep things simple this year,” event organizer Ellyn Siebert said. “People could wear more casual attire and we economized on decorations.” Organizers used craft paper for table clothes and enrolled the help of 7th grade students to create 35 stunning centerpieces crafted from reused bottles donated from a local Country Club and folded used magazine pages into flowers.

Approximately 435 people attended the event, escaping the evening rain to enjoy food and drink, participate in bidding on over 500 auction items, and dance to music by the Michael Heaton Band (http://www.michaelheaton.com/), popular in Glen Ellyn and throughout the Chicago area. The event was a huge success. Everyone had a great time and the school exceeded our goal.

Rain barrels are available for $85 from The Conservation Foundation (www.theconservationfoundation.org).

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