Steamboat auction to aid Whiteman Primary scholarship fund

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If you go

What: Lowell Whiteman Primary School scholarship auction

When: 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Ghost Ranch Saloon,

56 Seventh St.

Call: 879-8081 for more information or to buy tickets

Cost: Tickets are $50. They can be bought from any Whiteman Primary parent or through the school.

How to help

Those who can't attend the auction but would like to contribute to the scholarship fund can donate by going to the school's Website at and clicking on "Support Our School," or by calling Whiteman Primary at 879-8081.

— This year's Lowell Whiteman Primary School scholarship auction is especially important given the economic recession and resulting financial strains placed on area families, said Nancy Spillane, head of the school.

The school will kick-start its 17th annual scholarship fundraising campaign with this year's "LWPS Goes Ghostly" scholarship auction at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Ghost Ranch Saloon.

"Every single penny goes to scholarships for Routt County kids to come to Lowell Whiteman Primary," Spillane said.

She said the school awarded more than $101,000 in scholarships to students this year, eclipsing last year's total by about $15,000. Of the school's 60 students, 29 percent receive some financial aid.

Spillane said she expects more financial aid requests and scholarships to be awarded next year to pay the school's $12,000 annual tuition.

This year's auction will have a Halloween theme. Whiteman Primary commissioned 11 local artists to carve plastic pumpkins that will be auctioned off. The proceeds from the highest bid will be donated to LIFT-UP of Routt County. The pumpkins are on display at the Center for Visual Arts at Ninth Street and Lincoln Avenue.

The auction, which is being sponsored by the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation, also will serve as a food drive for LIFT-UP. Those who attend are encouraged to bring Thanksgiving dry foods, canned foods, pantry foods and diapers.

Auction items include a women's Cartier watch valued at $5,300 and weeklong stays in Moab, Utah, and Whitefish, Mont., both valued at $4,500. Other art and jewelry, dining and entertainment, home furnishings, health and self-care, children's services, travel, and sports and recreation items also will be up for bid.

Spillane said the scholarship auction is only the starting point of the school's fundraising efforts to provide financial aid. She said, for example, that last year's auction raised $57,000 and that the remainder to cover this year's scholarships came from private donations.

Whiteman Primary has awarded scholarships since the school opened in 1993, Spillane said.

"When we first started this school, when this group asked me to start a school, I let them know in the beginning that we in no way could be a school for only wealthy families," she said."Our philosophy had to be that this was a school for everyone, and everyone embraced that. That's been a real strong part of our program."

Those who can't attend the auction but want to contribute to the scholarship fund can donate by going to the school's Web site at www.lwps.org and clicking on "Support Our School." For more information, call Whiteman Primary at 879-8081.

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