Dreaming of an elegant night on the town in Boston or a luxury vacation in Cabo San Lucas? Perhaps you would like to treat 100 friends to a party cruise or own some unusual memorabilia like an oversized Puma sneaker signed by Usain Bolt.
Or maybe you’re looking to get your hands on a piece of local history, like the Francis T. Bresnahan School sign, pictures of the last-ever classes at Brown School or a baseball signed by World Series MVP David Ortiz. Or you want to surprise your children with a ride in a firetruck or police cruiser.
All that and much more are among the more than 200 items up for bid in tomorrow’s sixth annual Lighthouse Auction, the Newburyport Education Foundation’s largest fundraiser.
“There’s a number of really neat classroom donations, a lot of Red Sox tickets and other great holiday gifts,” said Jeff Gray, NEF president and chairman of the auction.
There are three components to the auction: online, silent and live. While bidding began through the NEF website last week for all of the items, some of them are Web exclusives, going to the highest bidders as of 8 p.m. today.
Bidding for the silent and live auctions will continue at tomorrow’s event, which starts at 5:30 p.m. at Masonic Hall. The live portion will kick off with Amesbury Skate & Sport Shop owner Rob Ouellette serving as auctioneer.
In addition to the auction, there will also be raffles, including the opportunity to win a $3,500 sapphire and diamond pendant designed by Matt Khatib of M.K. Benatti Jewelers especially for the event.
“It’s just striking the work he does,” Gray said. “Rather than just auctioning it off, we are selling a limited number of tickets, 250 total, for a chance to win that necklace.”
Each ticket costs $20.
The evening will also feature complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar, with all proceeds going directly to NEF.
“Historically, we’ve raised over $250,000 at the previous auctions,” Gray said. “We’ll plan to raise another $50,000-plus on Saturday.”
The money this year is earmarked for NEF’s initiative to raise $170,000 for lights, sound equipment and curtains for the Molin/Nock auditorium, Gray said.
“The fundraiser on Saturday will go a long way toward that,” he said.
The Lighthouse Auction is the result of “hundreds of hours” of volunteer work, Gray said. Countless members of the community get involved, from individuals and businesses to students and teachers from each of the city’s schools.
“Each classroom has a liaison back to the NEF auction committee, and they work to come up with creative classroom donations,” Gray said.
This year’s donations include packages of artwork created by the kids, a Bar Harbor getaway, gift baskets and gift certificates, and even a surfboard and surf lessons.
“It takes a lot of creativity and volunteer work to pull it all together and make the donations,” Gray said. “That’s sort of the fun of the auction.”
If you go
What: Lighthouse Auction
When: Tomorrow, 5:30 to 10 p.m.
Where: Masonic Hall, 31 Green St., Newburyport
How much: $20 if tickets are purchased by 8 p.m. today, $30 at door. Raffle tickets also available for $5 to $20.
More information and bidding: www.newburyportef.org/auction