O'Neal's Annual Auction Kicks Off 40th Birthday Celebration
On Saturday, Feb. 5, the Fair Barn will be buzzing with many of The O'Neal School's closest friends and supporters as the school begins celebrating its 40th year of educating children.
Carrying the theme "Forty and Fabulous," the auction will highlight those who helped to found the school and others who have worked through the years to better serve students and to evolve into a well-known center of academic excellence.
An auction preview will be held Friday, Feb. 4, at the Fair Barn in Pinehurst, sponsored by JT Davenport and Sons and Sweet Feed Catering. Auction attendees and those who are not able to attend the auction will have a chance to preview more than 300 items in the silent auction segment and place bids. Tickets to the preview are $20 each or complimentary with an auction ticket purchase. There will be jewelry giveaways, breakfast and entertainment from O'Neal's Lower School students.
Chairing the auction this year are O'Neal past parents Jerry and Beverly O'Donnell.
Jerry and Bev O'Donnell live in Sanford, where Jerry is a physician at his practice, Internal Medicine and Associates. They have two children, Marci, a senior, and Corbin, a freshman, both at the University of San Diego. Bev has been involved with O'Neal as a member of the parents' association in which she has held many offices, the school's auction committee, The O'Neal Fund, as well as the board of trustees. Bev continues to be involved with O'Neal, including serving as a substitute teacher.
"At O'Neal, we found not only a great education for our children, but also a great guidance and support system that allowed our children to develop the skills and self-confidence to spread their wings after graduation and be successful," say the O'Donnells. "Even though we no longer have children at O'Neal, the four of us cannot imagine not having O'Neal as a part of our lives and continue to enjoy supporting the O'Neal School, its events, administration, faculty and student body."
Alice and Wayne Robbins are honorary chairs for the auction. Alice Robbins was one of the first teachers for the school, has served as college counselor, head of the Upper School, interim headmaster and member of O'Neal's board of trustees. She has been honored as Woman of the Year for her strong sense of civic responsibility and involvement in the community. Her husband, Wayne, is a partner at Robbins, May & Rich, LLP in Southern Pines. They have two children, Wayne, who lives in Los Angeles and is a screenwriter, and Henry, who is an attorney in Raleigh.
"The O'Neal School has been helping students maximize their abilities since its beginning with 34 students in 1971," says Alice Robbins. "Truly it has been a springboard for students, launching them with both the skills and the confidence to be successful in college and well beyond. The school's achievements over 40 years are simply amazing!"
The auction consists of a silent auction, raffles and a live auction. The silent auction has 13 different segments, such as home, outdoor, student creations, sports, travel and entertainment, pottery, food and jewelry.
There are two raffles this year: a $10,000 cash raffle, and a raffle for a heart-shaped diamond pendant from Honeycutt Jewelers. The live auction has items that include a trip to the wine country in Sonoma County, Calif., vacation rentals, group dinners at fine restaurants, tickets to sporting events, a wine cellar comprising donations from O'Neal parents, artwork and more.
Greg Quiroga, from San Francisco-based Reynolds and Buckley Fundraising Auctions, will again be the event's auctioneer.
Food stations, catered by Elliott's on Linden, will be located around the Fair Barn and provide tapas of Italian, American and Asian cuisine.
"The O'Neal Annual Auction is noted as one of the nicest social events in the Sandhills," says Lynn Melton, auction director. "It is the largest fundraising event for the school; however, we're proud to say that for 40 years, it continues to be a memorable 'friend-raising' event as well."
An auction catalog is online at www.ONealSchool.org. Tickets are still available for the event.
For more information, call Lynn Melton, auction director, at (910) 692-6920 ext. 104 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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