Tickets still available for Central Elementary fundraiser

Published 4:40 pm Monday, May 8, 2017

Tickets are still available for a special fundraising event this week at Central Elementary to help raise money for the guitar music program in the Carter County School System.

Central Elementary is hosting a barbecue dinner and auction at the school on Thursday night at 6 p.m. The event at the school coincides with the online auction of several guitars signed by famous musicians.

Tickets for the event are $5 and include the barbecue dinner and a chance to win a new Fender guitar. Those not able to attend the dinner on Thursday can still enter the drawing for the new guitar by purchasing a ticket at the school.

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Some confusion has surrounded ticket sales due to a deadline for students who were selling tickets to turn in their orders. Dr. Dawn Taylor, one of the teachers at Central Elementary involved in coordinating the event, said tickets are still on sale and can be purchased at the door on the evening of the event.

In January of this year, Central received several guitars through a grant from the Tennessee Center for Civic Learning and Engagement, a 501(c) 3 organization that stresses the importance of having music in the classroom. As the guitars were being transported through Elizabethton, several fell off the back of the trailer and were picked up and carried off by people witnessing the incident.

News accounts of the incident went viral, and an anonymous donor purchased 17 guitars for the school to replace the ones which were stolen. Also, all of the guitars which had been taken from the roadway were eventually returned either to the school or to the Elizabethton Police Department.

Since the school now had more than enough guitars to supply their students, school officials decided to use the extra guitars as a way to raise money to help the music program remain self-sufficient in the future.

The idea of having the guitars autographed and auctioned off took shape and blossomed.

Taylor and others with the school contacted several famous musicians who were more than happy to help support music education in the school. Among the musicians signing the guitars up for auction are: Dolly Parton, Charlie Daniels, Kenny Rogers, Carrie Underwood, The Beach Boys, Chris Stapleton, Vince Gill, and Josh Turner.

Those guitars are being auctioned through eBay and at Thursday night’s event attendees will be able to watch the auction’s success via a live stream of the auction.

“We will also have a live auction at the school,” Taylor said. “There will be other items up for auction that night.”

Among the items for the auction at the school are CDs, posters, vinyl records, two tickets to a James Taylor concert provided by the musician, and two footballs autographed by Elizabethton-native Jason Witten who is a tight end for the Dallas Cowboys.

An exclusive live stream of the auction will also be available online. The public can check the eBay auction items at beginning May 1 until May 10 to see what guitars are available. For more information, the public can visit the Central Elem. Online Guitar Auction Facebook event page online or contact the school at 423-547-4045.