Purchase photos

TMP hopes auction is an elevating experience





Bidders at the Auction for Christian Education in Hays usually take notice when the auction approaches Item No. 60.

This year will be no different.

The 39th annual auction at Thomas More Prep-Marian Junior-Senior High School is set for Saturday evening in Al Billinger Fieldhouse. This year's theme for the event, sponsored by the TMP Alumni Association, is "Sweet Southern Night."

Last year, Item 60 brought more than $100,000 -- to be used for the new junior high school that was started in the fall.

Jeff Brull expects more of the same generosity Saturday.

The need earmarked for that particular item this year is an elevator for the three-story building that houses most of the classrooms and offices for the local Catholic school.

Brull, director of advancement at TMP, said for every dollar more than $50,000 raised for the item, the Leo J. and Albina Dreiling Trust would match the next $100,000.

"So if we raise $150,000 at the auction, the total actually will be $250,000," Brull said.

Several donations already have been made to that cause, and as of Tuesday, Brull said the total was $58,000.

"So every dollar from here on out will be doubled, up to $100,000," Brull said.

Two of the largest donations to date are $25,000 from the Ross and Marianna Beach Foundation and $10,000 from a TMP alum, Norman Karlin and his wife, Marilyn, from Salina. Karlin is a 1952 graduate of St. Joseph Military Academy, one of the TMP predecessors.

That item alone could break the auction's record total, set last year at $397,866. The first auction in 1975 brought $22,010. Two years later, it went over $30,000 and 2012 marked the 16th consecutive year of $100,000-plus. More than $4.5 million was raised in ACE's first 38 years.

More than 400 items have been donated to be auctioned, either on a silent auction or the oral auction.

There also will be raffles for several large items, including a 2012 Ford Fusion donated by Auto World, as well as numerous cash prizes.

The auction will be streamed live, and a link will be posted on the TMP website at www.tmp-m.org. Those tuning in live won't be able to bid on items, but people can donate to Item 60 or buy raffle tickets on line.

The oral auction is set to begin at 7:05 p.m.