BUC$ Night Out to aid school

BLUE EARTH – Blue Earth Area School Foundation continues its tradition with the 16th Annual BUC$ Night Out starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Hamilton Hall.

With more than 300 items to buy, “There’s plenty to choose from,” said Dani Legred, one of the organizers.

“And a variety,” added Louise Koranda, another organizer.

The event was created to cut down on the constant door-to-door selling the kids did, Legred explained.

The evening is also a chance for the adults of the five communities that comprise Blue Earth Area to get together in a social setting and have some fun.

The fundraiser brings in between $30,000 and $35,000 each year, according to Koranda.

“It enhances their learning,” Legred said.

“And provides opportunities,” Koranda added.

The bulk of the money goes to field trips and technology initiatives, she said. The rest goes to teacher requests, like a learning rug for the kindergarteners, speakers for the SMARTboards, and other educational supplies for the classrooms.

The evening starts with the Blue Earth Knights of Columbus’ steak fry from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the American Legion. Proceeds from the steak fry are shared with the Foundation, Koranda said.

Some fun activities keep BUC$ Night Out attendees busy between bidding.

When the doors of Hamilton Hall open at 6:30 p.m., a wine and beer tasting will begin. For $10, those 21 and older can buy a wristband to sample beverages from vendors lined up by Blue Earth Wine & Spirits.

Other attractions will be a visiting Vikings cheerleader, and Stage One Sound providing background music.

For a set fee of $10 or $20, you can draw for items donated by Balloon Blast.

The Bucs Giving Tree, or Gold Nuggets for Education, is for those who want to make a direct contribution to support an activity sponsored by the Foundation. Some of the items on the list are iPads for classrooms, summer orchestra camp, and eBooks for the K-8 media center.

But the real draw is the items up for bid in the silent and live auctions.

The silent auctions begin when the doors open at 6:30 p.m. Bidding on about 240 items will close at various times. The live auction begins at 9:30 p.m. and has 23 items.

One of the items in the live auction is lunch with Superintendent Evan Gough, which is listed as “priceless” in value. Another of the highest value items is a North Shore Hiking or X-Country Skiing Gals Adventure Weekend in Duluth. Also on the list for the live auction are Twins tickets, furniture, food, golf membership and a John Deere Electric Gator, among other things.

The silent auction has things donated by various grades and classes at Blue Earth Area, including a bunch of items from the art department and industrial tech department. Other items have been donated by individuals and businesses in the surrounding area, Koranda said.

“Thank you for donations and come out and support Blue Earth Area,” she said. “Come have fun.”