2016 marks an auction year for the McGilvra Elementary School (1617 38th Ave. E.). The school’s PTA, faculty and students are busy making this big fundraising event a success.

I got the lowdown on the auction with McGilvra PTA’s fundraising co-chair Candace Burleson, who has her hands full volunteering her time for the many moving parts that make this event a success.

Where do funds from the McGilvra auction go?

All funds donated to and raised by the McGilvra PTA go directly to supporting programs at the school, which benefit our students. PTA dollars support many things like teacher and library grants, technology updates, our math specialist, our counselor, reading tutors and so much more.

What’s new with the auction this year?

This year, our theme is Kentucky Derby, and we’re having so much fun with it. The decor will reflect a springtime feel, and we’re encouraging everyone to dress up (think fascinators, derby hats, bow ties, seersucker, etc.).

New this year will be options for mobile self-check-in and checkout. Also, some of our silent auction items will be made available for mobile bidding action. In addition, we’re changing up our Dessert Dash in a way that will be fun and encourage a little more competition.

What were some of the most successful auction items last year?

Some of our most successful live auction items at the last event were experiences, including a Seahawks preseason package, travel packages like a great white shark diving excursion, a VIP trip to visit “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and, of course, our always-popular student art projects.

How does the Wine Wall work?

The Wine Wall is one of our more fun ways to give and guarantee you can take something home. At the event, you can purchase a ticket for $25, which allows you to pull a number out of the bowl that corresponds to a bottle on the wall. If you don’t like what you get, just purchase another ticket for a chance to pull something new.

Each ticket is also put into a drawing for the most valuable bottle donated.

Right now, we’re collecting wines and liquor with a retail value of $25. Our goal is to collect about 50 more bottles, so if anyone wants to donate something, just email mcgilvraauction2016@gmail.com to coordinate a drop-off time.

What was the best wine that was given away at the last auction?

The most valuable item donated at our last Wine Wall was a bottle of Remy XO Cognac, which had a retail value of $200

How can people get involved?

Volunteer — there are so many ways to contribute and help out. We’re currently seeking volunteers for assistance with silent and live auction item procurement, event set-up, event night help and more.

Donate — Have an item to donate, great ideas for items to procure, maybe you have a vacation home or airline miles you can give or possibly you know a vendor who can donate a gift card for an experience, hotel stay, beauty or health services, etc.? All donations need to be received or logged by March 11.

Sponsor — We still have some sponsorship levels available for companies that want to get in front of a great audience — the McGilvra community. Sponsors will be featured in ads in our auction program and be provided with mentions in our auction materials and website.

Dessert Dash — Do you have a passion for baking or know someone who does? We need about 40 desserts to be donated for our ever-popular Dessert Dash. Each item should serve at least eight people and should not need to be refrigerated before the event.

Get a hat — With our Kentucky Derby theme for this year’s auction, we’re working with hatmaker Hannah Fulton Millinery (in Downtown Seattle), who is offering to make custom hats for McGilvra parents. She’ll work with you to determine your preferred design/style, materials and colors, and 10 percent of sales will go to the McGilvra PTA.

Buy Tickets — Tickets are on sale now online at mcgilvraseattle.schoolauction.net/2016auction/homepages/show. Don’t wait: We only have a limited number of seats available, and once they’re gone, we can’t add more spaces.

How are the kids getting involved with the auction?

Each auction year, our students get involved by making beautiful art projects that are auctioned off during our live portion. Each classroom or grade level comes together to create a unique project. At every event, these items are “hot tickets” that really get our community excited and bidding.

This year’s projects include 3-D butterflies, wire horses, a custom tile outdoor fire pit and more.

What are you looking forward to most about the event?

The chance to come together as a school community, celebrate our students’ and faculty’s successes and raise funds that we know will directly enhance our students’ experience and education at McGilvra.

The 2016 McGilvra auction is Saturday, April 23, at Showbox SODO (1700 First Ave. S.), beginning at 5:30 p.m. Visit the website to view the silent and live auction catalog, buy tickets to the event, donate money to the PTA’s annual fund and donate items to the auction.

Find out more at mcgilvraseattle.schoolauction.net/2016auction/homepages/show. Email mcgilvraauction2016@gmail.com for more information on how to donate, volunteer or sponsor.

SIAN WU is a McGilvra Elementary School parent.