Archive for Friday, November 6, 1998

UNDERTAKING

November 6, 1998

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St. John School's 15th annual benefit will be Nov. 21 and feature big band music as well as live and silent auctions.

Ask Jerry Jennings for highlights of this year's benefit auction for St. John School, and the fund-raiser's chairman groans.

He hates to single out any item because so many businesses and individuals donate to the auction. But press him a little and he'll mention the handmade quilt featuring the names of each student at Lawrence's parochial school and celebrity items such as a "Titanic" poster signed by the blockbuster movie's director and eight members of its cast.

Jennings and the roughly 200 volunteers who pull off St. John School's benefit auction are busily preparing for the 15th annual event, which will feature a big band dance.

The community's largest fund-raiser outside of Kansas University will be 7 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Lawrence Holidome and will feature both live and silent auctions. This year's event is called "A Stardust Evening with the Big Bands."

Jennings said last year's auction raised about $100,000 for the school. A 50/50 cash jackpot also has proved a viable money-maker for the school. When someone donates at least $100, $50 goes toward the school and $50 into the pot.

"There will be a random drawing before dinner," Jennings said. "The winner has gone home with as much as $25,000 in cash."

The auction features a wide variety of items, Jennings said, including vacation packages, electronics, Jayhawk memorabilia and keepsakes.

Celebrity items include a George Brett poster surrounded by cards from each year he played, a shirt signed by Wilt Chamberlain, basketballs signed by Kansas University basketball players and a folding chair used during the team's centennial season signed by Coach Roy Williams.

Tickets to the dance and dinner are $60 per person and are available by calling the auction's office, 842-3445. Chances at the cash jackpot also are available by calling the office.

Proceeds from the auction go toward the school's development and endowment funds.

-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is dgruver@ljworld.com.

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