Get Your Bids Down

Online auction for new learning center ends June 13
BY: LACEY STORER

The Palapa Society of Todos Santos is continually looking for ways to raise money for its new Palapa Learning Center, a three-building complex that will house the society’s community library, English classes and middle/high school. The Palapa Society is mostly foreigners helping the locals, Its latest fundraising effort is an online auction.

“We thought, let’s see if this could be another interesting way for people to help raise funds,” says Kathy Warnert, a Palapa Society member and auction honcho.

online auction.jpgThe society, which was the major benefactor of the GastroVino silent auction in May, received a large painting from local artist Ezra Katz for that event. They wanted to do something special with that piece, so they put it on an online auction site. After GastroVino, several more people approached the Palapa Society wanting to donate items, and an online auction was born.

The items up for bid include three paintings from local artists, a necklace made of hand carved bone and coral, a two-night stay for two at Flora del Mar and a whale watching tour for two to Magdalena Bay with Todos Santos Ecos Adventures.

The bidding opened on May 30 and ends on June 13 (which is the day after this newspaper hits the stands, so get your bids in now). The process to make a bid is simple. You just go the auction website, bit.ly/PSOnlineAuction, and click on Catalog. Click on the item you want to bid on, and then click Bid Now to register and bid. There’s also a Buy Now option if you see something that you just have to have.

And Warnert wants to make sure that people don’t just bid once and then never check the site again. She encourages them to keep checking, and keep bidding. She hopes the auction inspires some of the competitive spirits that Ebay auctions do, with buyers continuously checking the website during the final hours of an auction to make sure their bids are on top.

“It’s kind of a fun thing, not just something where you register and bid and it’s a one-time thing,” she says.

Once the winners are notified, they can either pick up their prizes, have them shipped or, if they aren’t in Mexico when the auction ends, the Palapa Society can hold the items until they can be picked up.

Starting bids range from $75 USD to $600. Warnert says the fundraising goal is $3,000 to $4,000, which would be enough to pay for laptops for the students at the new learning center.

“We’re really trying to continue to build awareness of the Palapa Society, and let people be a part of history with the new learning center,” Warnert says.

The learning center’s inaugural school year will start this August, with classes of 7th and 8th graders. The buildings for the society’s Bridge to English language program and its community library will open in October and November, respectively.

Construction on the Palapa Learning Center began in November of last year, and is nearly complete, with just one of the three buildings still unfinished. Most of the furniture has been moved in, and much of the work being done now is just finishing touches, including the sports courts, the landscaping and an outdoor kitchen.

“It’s kind of fun to see it all coming together,” Warnert says.

For more information on the Palapa Society and the progress of the learning center, or to discover how you can get involved, visit their website at palapasociety.org.