For 17 years, the annual District 840 Foundation Cash for Kids auction has been held inside the gym at the St. James High School.

Due to COVID-19, this year’s auction was held online, and still generated $20,000.

“Because of the coronavirus, we had so many great donations beforehand,” said Pam Runge. “Even if we made $10,000, it was worth it.”

The naming of the Event Center was granted to the Class of 2020.

The live auction for the naming of the Event Center sold for $1,500.

A small group of parents banded together to come up with a unique way to honor the class of 2020.

“The class of 2020 has especially missed out on so many moments,” said Kara Anderson. “They weren’t able to have their last sports or fine arts  seasons, their last ‘fun’ trimester of high school together, their senior prom, senior class trip, and, most importantly, a ‘live’ graduation commencement together.”

“For the entire next school year, each time a person walks into the Event Center, they will be walking into the ‘St. James Class of 2020 Event Center’, honoring the class that will forever hold on to the memories they had in that same building and also forever being stronger for the moments they hadn’t realized they would never experience.”

Other live auctions, such as a three-night getaway at the Wisconsin Dells sold for $725.00.

A wine trip for 18 to Round Lake Vineyard went for $600.

A stay at the Interlachen Country Club in Edina sold for $720.00.

This year’s auction saw the same amount of bidders but saw an increase in active bidders with 143.

The online auction allowed those who are not local to participate

Most of the money raised will likely go towards technology for the district.

Although plenty of sports gear was sold, tickets to theater shows and baseball games were dissolved, as well as some restaurant tickets.

While the auction did have success, a lack of a raffle and concession stand hurt the overall net gain as well.

“There was a lot going against us going into it so we’re really pleased,” said Runge.

A bidding war was supposed to be at the end of the auction. Any auction item still being bid on with under 10 minutes left in the auction still would remain open for a bidding war until a bid was placed for 10 minutes for it to close.

“That would have been exciting and we would have made more money,” said Runge

The website failed to activate this piece of the auction for this to take place.

Even if the District 840 Foundation is able to have an auction at the school next year, Runge said the auction will likely be done online again.

“Next year, with Easter being the first weekend in April, it would have taken us earlier into March which cuts into the use of the gym for the physical education classes, spring sports, and setting up for the high school winter concerts.”

Schedules for kids are also becoming more of a challenge.

Even with the hiccups, the auction was still a success.

“In this time that we’re in right now, I couldn’t have asked for a better auction.”

To see the full list of items sold, go to https://840cashforkids2020.asimobile.net/#/index.