Emerald Mountain School scholarship auction Saturday | SteamboatToday.com

Emerald Mountain School scholarship auction Saturday

Teresa Ristow

— Tickets are on sale for the annual Emerald Mountain School Scholarship Fundraiser Auction taking place Saturday evening.

The fundraiser typically generates about $50,000 for the school to use for financial assistance for students, about 24 percent of whom receive some help with the private school's tuition.

School officials said Tuesday that while the K-8 campus's current enrollment of 61 students is typical, they are enrolling new students and want to be recognized as a viable alternative option to overcrowded Steamboat public schools.

"We do have openings every year," said Sharon Mensing, head of school and part-time math teacher.

Mensing said the annual auction generates about one-third of the funds used annually to help students from varying socio-economic backgrounds attend the school, which has one kindergarten classroom and four two-grade classrooms at its Oak Street campus.

Tuition is about $14,850 annually, and Mensing said the school provides students with a strong academic program using small class sizes, parental involvement and unique programming.

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The tuition is the lowest among private, independent schools in Colorado, Mensing said.

Tickets for the auction are $50 and include beer, wine and soft drinks and heavy appetizers.

Attendees are given an auction number that allows them to bid on one of about 150 items, ranging from handcrafted items from the school classes to gift certificates for services and prizes worth anywhere from $25 to several thousand dollars, according to Debbie Gooding, director of admission and development and an organizer for the auction, which has taken place annually since the school was founded 23 years ago.

Every family donates two items for the auction, and this year's items include handmade quilts, flight lessons, a guided fly-fishing trip at Three Forks Ranch, six months of family soup dinners and items from each grade level, including knit hats, decorated stone art and wooden patio candles.

"Our student art projects are really unique," Gooding said. "They're tied in with the art classes, and they're fantastic."

Older Emerald Mountain students will serve as ambassadors for the event, taking coats and serving appetizers, and Gooding said the event draws a good cross section of the community.

To learn more about the auction or to purchase tickets, call Gooding at the school at 970-879-8081.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

If you go:

What: Emerald Mountain School Scholarship Fundraiser Auction

When: 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 14

Where: Rex’s American Grill & Bar, 3190 S. Lincoln Ave.

Cost: $50, includes beer, wine, appetizers

Info: 970-879-8081