March 4, 2009

Fifth Annual RSU Scholarship Auction ‘Denim and Diamonds' on April 3

"Denim and Diamonds" is the theme of the fifth annual Rogers State University Foundation Scholarship Auction and Dinner, which will feature a festive evening of food and music, raffle with a chance to win cash and jewelry, and the opportunity to bid on a variety of unique live and silent auction items, ranging in value from five to several thousand dollars.

The auction, which is open to the public, will be held during the evening of Friday, April 3, at the RSU Student Center Ballroom.

All proceeds from the event, sponsored by the RSU Foundation, will provide scholarships for RSU students. The cost to attend the auction is $30 per person or $300 for a table of eight, including dinner, drinks and entertainment. Event sponsorships are still available, beginning at $500.

"The scholarship auction has become one of the premier social and philanthropic events in the Claremore area," said Tonni Harrald, RSU director of development and organizer of the event. "But more importantly, we will be raising much-needed scholarship funds for deserving students."

Auctioneers will be Curt Spurlock and Rick Reimer, well-known Claremore auctioneer and director of the Claremore campus of Northeast Technology Centers, who has served as auctioneer during past auctions.

Raffle tickets on a chance to win $5,000 cash, $7,000 in merchandise at Ivan's Jewelry in Pryor or $5,000 toward a car at Roberts's Auto Center in Pryor are available for $50 each and may be purchased from any Denim & Diamonds committee members, at the RSU Foundation or at Emily's Playhouse in Claremore.

This year's live auction items, as of press time, include a three-day sailing excursion for four people off the coast of North Carolina, donated by Captain Les and Susanne Pendleton of New Bern, N.C. An experienced sailing crew will accompany the highest bidding party on a 43-foot sailboat on the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound, visiting New Bern, Oriental and Beaufort, N.C.

The Pendletons also are providing a collection of Les' novels, due out later this month. Les enjoyed a 20-year career in the film industry, where he worked on over 50 feature motion pictures. Les and Susanne will provide meals while onboard, storytelling and great conversation, Harrald said. Airfare for two to Raleigh, N.C., is included in the package. Susanne is the daughter of longtime RSU supporters Jim and Kay Harrison of Pryor. This item resulted in $2,750 in additional scholarship dollars at last year's event.

Also featured at the live auction again this year is a chance to have dinner with RSU President Dr. Larry Rice and his wife Peggy Rice in the RSU President's Residence. This exclusive dinner party is made available by RSU Foundation Chairman Dana Lamb and her husband Nash of Pryor, Burl and Janice Trickett, also of Pryor, and Ron and Danette Boyle. Other large-scale live auction items are expected to be added at a later date.

In addition, there will be more than 150 items for guests to bid on at the silent auction tables, Harrald said. Silent auction items will include jewelry, gift baskets, certificates for fine dining, artwork, certificates for services and other gifts provided by area businesses and individuals.

Auction items may be contributed to the RSU Foundation for the auction. Those interested in making tax-deductible contributions to the auction should contact the RSU Foundation.

Doors will open and silent auction bidding will begin at 6 p.m., a dinner buffet and beverages will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the live auction will begin at approximately 8 p.m. A cash bar also will be available. The raffle drawing will be held at 9 p.m.

Music will be provided by All Access DJs and souvenir photos will be available by Nathan Faught of Claremore Photography.

Members of the 2009 "Denim and Diamonds" Committee include Linda Coons, Tracey Dean, Jim Harrison, Blaine Jones, Bob McKinney, Bobbye Mooney, Merissa Nuse, Lynda Reiser, Cindy Rickard, Carlene Webber, Dr. Danette Boyle, Clarice Doyle, Amanda Faught, Stephany Foutch, Heather Isaacs, Sharon Kern, Kris Kirkes, Shonna Payne, Rhonda Spurlock and Tonni Harrald, event coordinator.

Reservations for this year's event may be made by calling the RSU Foundation at 343-7767 or 343-7768.