A place for auctions….And Not.
Last Friday night Summit held the largest and most profitable auction in the history of the school; it was a blast. The kids were next door at KidzBounce getting sweaty and making lots of noise (some of whom made presentations at the event), parents, grandparents and friends were enjoying hors d’oeuvres, wine and wonderful desserts prepared in house, Brian Dickinson was a fascinating speaker and there were plenty of opportunities to spend money—all for a good cause…right?
By definition, an auction is, “The public sale of something to the highest bidder” or, to put it another way, it’s about buying desirable “stuff” at the lowest possible price; consumption on the cheap. As I write this note my feet are resting on a Persian rug that I bought (Val continually reminds me that it was “I” and not “we” who bought the rug) at an auction thirty-five years ago for a “fraction of its value”. Little did I know at the time— but later I found out—that I probably paid more than it’s worth. To add insult to injury, I borrowed the money to pay for my bad deal; I couldn’t afford it (consumption gone awry)! Consumption is nothing new to humanity. We must consume in order to live. One of the basic meanings of the word is to “take [nourishment] into our body”. While most of us have problems with what we consume in this sense—and how much of it we consume—Western culture has added another dimension to this important word. We now identify ourselves as “consumers” and, in most cases, we aren’t referring to what we eat. As a society we have become consumers of goods and services on a scale unprecedented in human history. One of the definitions Webster gives for “consume” is “spend wastefully: squander” and, sad to say, that is our inclination. Someone has said that one of the greatest enemies of the Gospel in the Western Church is our consumerist culture.
A big reason auctions work as fund raising events is because they give us another opportunity (or, excuse) to do something we really like to do; buy stuff. Yes it’s a good cause and, for the most part, we get that. But even at an auction like the one Summit held it is easy to forget that the big take-away is not so much to take something away as it is to give something away. The auction is a means to an end and not the end itself. Our auction was about a school built on radical relationships; families in that radical relationship of redemption with the God of the Universe and, because of that redemption, in radical relationship with each other. Summit is the sum-total of families who have covenanted with each other raise their children under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and to teach them within a proven philosophy of education that has stood the test of time.
There is a caveat. Though there are times when we approach it as such, an education is not an auction. We’re consumers and we’re always looking for the best deal. Education tends to not work this way. Like my Persian rug (which turns out to not be Persian), there are bad deals out there. At Summit our goal is to be a “great deal,” and we want to do great stuff with our kids. But, there are no free lunches and that which is good (or great) always costs us something. Summit is a Classical and Christian school that is supported financially by its stakeholders and by no one else. And so, we give.
No organization is ever able to pull off an event of this magnitude without the enormous sacrifice of a cadre of volunteers, and the Summit auction this year was no exception. In this public forum I would like to express our gratitude to the following: Karen Schmit, Gary Nearn, Jacqui Lott, Claudine Fairchild, Michelle Carnes, Jacqui Farnsworth, Kim Hall, Cristi Cooper, Ursula Rosien, Deidre Cairns, Tammy McCabe, Tricia Ritter (and all their spouses).
Heads-up for the coming week:
- Please remember to bring your empty cartridges which can be given to teachers, or can be placed directly into the Cartridge World box in the library.
- We still have an immediate need for recess supervisors!! Open slots are Monday lunch recess. If any of you could participate in this way it would be greatly appreciated by our teachers who need this break time for planning.
- Parents, when you pick up your children please ask them to help police the playground and check to see that they are leaving it in good shape.
- Dr. Orton will be off campus March 18-20, participating in an event co-sponsored by George Fox University and Dr. Leonard Sweet . He will be back in the office on March 21. Pastor Rick Uhles (VCA) will be with our students for chapel on Wednesday, March 20.
- Because it is the end of the term there will be no school on March 22.
- Please PRAY for our school!