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Salisbury Academy auction moves online this year, benefits Meals on Wheels

SALISBURY — Salisbury Academy has been fundraising via an annual auction for 12 years, and this year’s auction will keep the tradition online.

This will be the second year for the online, silent format of the fundraiser. Last year, a live auction was scheduled for March before being postponed and moved to an online format in April.

The auction supports the school, a community partner and scholarships open to any Rowan-Salisbury Schools high school students. This year, participants will also be able to support the school’s athletics program.

Lizzie Roy, director of marketing and communications, said many of the students who attend the private K-8 go on to attend RSS high schools. The scholarships the event supports are offered through the Broyhill Leadership program.

Meals on Wheels of Rowan County was chosen as this year’s community partner. The nonprofit has expanded its programs in the past year, serving more homebound seniors and adding a grocery program to get food to seniors who are able to prepare their own means but unable to leave home.

The nonprofit has funded its new endeavors with grants and plans to keep the grocery program going after the pandemic has ended.

“A growing number of seniors struggle with food insecurity and social isolation, and this gift will go directly to providing meals to our most vulnerable seniors in Rowan County,” Meals on Wheels Director Cindy Fink said in a statement.

Head of School Beverly Fowler said the event is one of the largest fundraisers for the school each year. The goal is to meet or exceed last year’s online auction total of about $25,000.

“For us, it’s one of the big three that we have every year that meets a gap between the cost of tuition and the cost of providing an educational experience for our students and families,” Fowler said.

Fowler said donors have been generous during the previous year. Operating a school has come with additional costs during the pandemic, including additional staff and cleaning procedures. The school is also adding an outdoor pavilion.

Items up for auction range from physical goods to experiences, and a puppy. People can win a weeklong stay in a High Country mountain home and a fly fishing trip on the Soque River’s trout waters.

Many of the physical items have a personal touch as well. Local Artist Mark Stephenson, a national portrait contest finalist, has donated a custom portrait. Provisions Contracting is donating an oyster table to be custom-designed and built for an outdoor space.

There are some school-related perks on offer too, including a reserved parking space for events, a monthly meal delivered to a student and the chance to decorate the school’s spirit rock for a month.

There are more items being added in the run up to the April 14 start of the auction. It will close at 8 p.m. on April 17. Winners will be contacted on April 19.

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