1. Why do we need an auction?

Given that state budgeting on K-12 education most often falls short, Somerset PTSA’s contributions provide a significant resource for our school’s operations. The excellence of Somerset Elementary School relies on a strong partnership between parents, community and local businesses. Years of such deep involvement has generated amazing outcomes envied by many other schools within the Bellevue School District. For many years, Somerset Elementary School has been one of the highest ranked elementary schools in the state. Successful auctions over the years have allowed the PTSA to fund vital programs that benefit the students and staff at Somerset.
In 2016, the PTSA ran a successful Fall Fundraising campaign. Even with that campaign, the PTSA still needs to raise an additional $120,000 to adequately fund programs for the current and following school year. An annual fall fundraising campaign in conjunction with a biennial auction are both necessary to meet the high levels of support that the Somerset PTSA provides.
Funds raised during the auction benefit ALL students at Somerset via Instructional Aides, Curriculum Enhancement (field trips and speakers), Festival of Cultures, STEM Week, Book Room, supplies for teachers, and more.

2. What are instructional aides and why does our PTSA heavily invest in this program?

With $100K contribution from PTSA, Somerset School is able to fund five instructional aides, which uses more than 50% of our PTSA annual budget. In our annual PTSA survey, the teachers resoundingly cite Instructional Aides (IA’s) as their top priority for PTSA funding. IA’s work in every classroom at Somerset. Each teacher uses the IAs differently, but examples of what they do might include: running challenge groups for accelerated students, helping students who may need reinforcement on certain topics, or sometimes work with the main group of students when the teacher works with a smaller set of students. Even if your child doesn’t work one-on-one with an Instructional Aide, they benefit from having the IAs, since teachers can continue moving the class forward while still looking out for students that might be accelerated or needing additional assistance.

3. What activities will be included in the auction?

The auction is a wonderful way to enjoy a fun evening with fellow parents, staff, and community members. There will be a complimentary welcome Champagne, silent and live auction, dinner and games throughout the evening. It’s a great way to relax from your busy schedule, visit with old friends, make new friends, and come together with our community to raise money for our Somerset Superstars!

4. Why do I need to attend this auction in person? Can I just donate money instead?

As much as we appreciate your generosity, we strongly encourage you to join us at the auction. It is truly a community event, and you will enjoy the company of many others that share the same passion for education. That said, if circumstances prevent your attendance at the auction, you can donate cash or items at our website.

5. Will there be an online auction?

We will not have an online auction before our event. Traditionally, online auctions are not as effective as in-person auctions. That said, we may have an online auction after the event if there are remaining, unsold items.

6. I want to learn more about the auction. How?

Check out our auction updates in the Somerset weekly e-newsletter and our Website Or click here to view a short school auction video from the internet (similar to ours).

7. How can I help with the auction?

• Plan to attend the auction.
• Spread the word! Recruit your friends! Reserve a table! Volunteer to be a table captain.
• Make a personal donation or use your connections for unique auction items.
• Volunteer to help with planning. Contact Hu Dong - donghu1974@hotmail.com

8. What do I wear?

Please wear whatever you are comfortable in! If you like, you can wear cocktail attire or cultural attire. Know that your attendance is more important to us than what you wear.

9. Who will I sit with?

The auction is a great way to meet people at the school and community. If you don't request anyone specifically, we will seat you with someone else from your child's class or grade. You have an option to pick your table captain or specify whom you want to sit with. We are also having a Ladies Table (put "LNO" on the back of your reply card or online to indicate your seating preference). It will be a table (or two, or three!) of moms from Somerset.

10. What are the meal options?

You have a choice of beef, chicken, fish, vegetarian, strict vegan, or gluten-free meal. If you have special dietary needs or restrictions, let us know. We will try our best to accommodate your dietary needs.

11. What activities and games are we going to have?

We will have a Gift Card Mall, “Heads or Tails” game, photo booth, wine toss, Best of Live, Grand Raffle and Blue Line Raffle. Detailed game rules will be published on the PTSA auction page and auction program one or two weeks before the event.

12. What types of items will be auctioned off?

Live auction: Art projects created by each class, unique experiences, vacation packages, and more!
Silent auction: Teacher experiences, summer camps, gift certificates, admission tickets, wine tasting packages, sporting event tickets, professional services, fitness clubs/classes, birthday parties, and more!

13. What is a silent auction? How does it work?

Enter your bid number on the bid¬ding sheet corresponding to the desired item. Each new bid must equal or exceed the required increment as shown on the bid sheet. Please print legibly. If an entry is not legible, the next legible entry will be used. By entering your bid number, you agree to purchase the corresponding item at the price on the bid sheet. For additional information, see Here

14. What is the live auction? How does it work?

To bid on an item, raise your bid card so that the auctioneer or one of his spotters can see it. Bid cards will be given to you at check-in. Successful bidders will be acknowledged by the auctioneer. Your number and winning price will be taken by our volunteers and entered into checkout system. In the event of a dispute between bidders, the auctioneer will have sole and final discretion to determine the winning bid or re-offer the disputed item. Here is a school auction video from the internet (video1).