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CSC mini tree auction

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The CSU-Pueblo Classified Staff Council had their annual winter auction of mini Christmas trees and wreaths which was held on Nov. 29 at 5 p.m. in the OUC Ballroom.Staff member Shirley Duran recalls decorating Christmas trees began as a contest. Duran volunteers yearly to head the contest. In the past, the trees were donated to area nursing homes and local hospitals.

The CSC is always looking for new ways to build up their scholarship funds and offer more student awards. It was then that the council decided to host the silent auction.

“Somewhere along the way the wreaths were added to the contest because so many folks had purchased trees in the past. There was a concern that the council wouldn’t raise as much money on the trees alone,” Duran said.

This year, gift baskets were added to the auction, as they looked for new ideas to keep people’s interest in their fundraising.

The council raises funds throughout the year to fund the CSU-Pueblo Classified Employees Scholarship. This scholarship is available for CSU-Pueblo students who are related to a classified employee of the university.

The CSC awarded four $800 scholarships this school year, and the recipients are able to use the funds toward their tuition, fees, books or supplies.

The CSC is made-up of 13 members from the CSU-Pueblo classified staff. Currently, there are nine members serving on the council.

Cathy Walkup is the president, Maria Herrera is the vice-president, Katie Cadena-Priebe is the secretary, and Jeanne Stewart is the treasurer. The other council members are Paul Valdez, Kristi Alfonso, Kim Hill, Bruce Merritt, and Damien Capritta.

“Fundraising is an on-going event for the council, we need to raise as much money as we can within the year to award more than one scholarship,” said Cadena-Priebe.

Money donated by classified members made this annual event possible. With the funds collected, the mini-trees were purchased from Hobby Lobby and the wreaths from Michael’s.

The mini Christmas trees and wreaths were made available to faculty, staff and students to show off their decorating talents. Those wishing to decorate the trees and wreaths provide all decorations as a donation toward the fund-raiser.

The deadline to return the decorated trees and wreaths was Nov. 29 at 2 p.m. A mystery judge then came to campus to award two top prizes in each category. First place was $60 and second place $40. The cash prizes were made possible by President Joseph Garcia.

“In the past, choosing a first and second place best overall has been very difficult for our mystery judge,” Cadena-Priebe said. “Since all the mini-trees and wreaths donated have a special touch and idea added to them.”

The auction will follow the 2007 Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony where students, faculty, staff and their families are invited to attend. The campus wide event began promptly at 4:45 p.m. north of the Fountain Plaza.

President Garcia sponsored a reception in the OUC Ballroom to kick-off the holiday season for all who participated. In conjunction with the tree lighting ceremony, the Classified Staff Council auction began at 5 p.m. in the OUC Ballroom.

The event also featured music by the CSU-Pueblo Chamber Choir. In addition, a display of luminaries was provided by the Office of Student Activities and there was a special appearance by Santa and the Thunderwolf mascot.