St. Augustine School Eyeing Expansion
The elementary school on Central Street is looking to build a gym and is getting some help from local businesses.
On Saturday, March 9, St. Augustine School of Andover will host its 6th Annual Spring Extravaganza. The event, long heralded as the school’s major fundraiser of the year, has gained tremendous support from various Merrimack Valley businesses which have donated products, services, and gifts, to aid the school in reaching its ultimate goal: a gymnasium.To date, St. Augustine School has never had a gymnasium. Students and faculty instead have leveraged a small black top surface and coinciding grass playing field, in addition to the Knights of Columbus Hall located two blocks away, for physical education during the school year. With an increased focus on childhood obesity rates and aggressive approaches to physical fitness and better health being employed, the school put wheels in motion to expand its current 26 Central Street location in a way that would both maintain downtown Andover curb appeal and deliver a much needed physical asset to the school.
“We will soon celebrate St. Augustine School’s 100 year anniversary,” said Paula O’Dea, principal of St. Augustine School. “To mark this monumental occasion and to update our school to meet the demands of a growing student body, an on-property gymnasium is a logical next step. We have infinite appreciation for the volume of area businesses, organizations and individuals that have given of themselves to help us achieve this milestone.”
St. Augustine’s Highlights Local Businesses and Builds an Online Auction
The St. Augustine Spring Extravaganza, themed “A Night of Champions,” will this year be held at Salvatore’s at the Riverwalk in Lawrence. A large population of businesses across multiple disciplines—retail, medical, service, restaurant, salon and consumables—have jumped on board to not only support the event, but provide extraordinary auction items including: signed Taylor Swift concert and sporting event tickets, sports memorabilia including Dustin Pedroia & John Lackey of the Boston Red Sox and Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins. Donors have contributed hundreds of items including summer camps, museums, makeovers, gift certificates, gift baskets and excursions.
Although tickets for the live event are now sold out, St. Augustine School’s effort to raise money continues through its online auction via BiddingforGood (www.biddingforgood.com/springextravaganza). Through the BiddingforGood online auction platform, St. Augustine School is profiling a multitude of businesses. Leading auction items include products and services from: Merrimack Valley YMCA, Depot Pizza, Andover DCS, Peking Garden, Hooptown Basketball Camp, and Elements Therapeutic Massage of Andover.
Sponsors for the event this year include Gold Sponsor: Leonard Orthodontics; Silver Sponsor: Weetabix; and Bronze Sponsors: Portsmouth Pediatric Dentistry, Andover Pediatric Dentistry, and Reading Cooperative Bank. The 6th Annual Spring Extravaganza will also welcome special guests, former New England Patriot’s player Pete Brock and Jon Williams and guests of the event will be treated to dinner and entertainment during both an on-site live and silent auction.
Spring Extravaganza co-Chairs and parent volunteers Ken and Allyson Smith and Kathleen Shick shared, “We will be forever humbled by the passion and sacrifices made by so many amazing volunteers and area businesses that have become, in our eyes, the true champions of this event. We have reached far and wide to spread the news of our goal in building this gymnasium to benefit our children and the community for many generations to come.” The Spring Extravaganza effort was executed completely by volunteers from the St. Augustine community of parents and business owners. In fact, Ken Smith operates Pipeline Marketing, an internet consulting and marketing communications firm, while Kathleen owns JMAX Recyclers—both area businesses.
About St. Augustine School
Founded in 1914 by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, St. Augustine School (26 Central Street Andover, Mass.) provides a high-quality Catholic education to children Nursery through Grade 8 within an environment supporting, encouraging and nurturing spiritual, intellectual, social and personal growth. St. Augustine School celebrates its strong Catholic identity, promotes academic excellence and fosters respect and justice for all individuals. Through its dedicated group of educators committed to teaching and learning in the Catholic tradition, St. Augustine School recognizes the unique gifts in each child and remains committed to helping each child reach their full academic, social and physical potential. For more information visit St. Augustine School at: www.edline.net/pages/staugustineandover.