It’s not many kids who can hop a ride to school in a Ferrari.
But yesterday morning as her classmates took their usual seats on the same, rumbling yellow school buses, Maria Hogan started her day in style.
She pulled up to the Rupert A Nock School in a shiny black Ferrari, cashing in on a prize won at last year’s Newburyport Education Fundation Lighthouse Auction fundraiser.
A ride to school in a Ferrari will once again be among the prizes in this year’s NEF auction. The public can get its first glimpse of the hundreds of items up for auction this year when online bidding begins tomorrow. The auction event is set for Nov. 10.
Sure, the annual auction is all about raising money to provide rich educational opportunities for Newburyport students. It raised more than $50,000 last year and enabled the NEF to install Wi-Fi capability at Newburyport High and Nock Middle schools.
But there’s plenty of luxurious opportunities to be had as well — all in the name of supporting the cause.
They run the gamut from a private helicopter ride and a rooftop, riverfront dinner party for 40 to a football jersey signed by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and a plum parking spot at the G.W. Brown School. For the adventurous, the auction features weekend and weeklong trips to out-of-the way places like the Bahamas and Tahoe and getaways closer to home like New Hampshire and Vermont.
“We have so many great items this year,” auction organizer Rosemary Turgeon said.
Now in its fifth year, the Lighthouse Auction has raised $180,000 for Newburyport schools, with the numbers soaring last year with the introduction of the online bidding feature.
“It allowed us to reach so many more people,” Turgeon said.
Even if you can’t get a babysitter, get called away on business or just feel more comfortable shopping at home in your pajamas, you can participate in the auction. There are even some “online only” items up for bid, offering people the added assurance they won’t be outbid when the party moves over to the Masonic Hall at 31 Green St. on Nov. 10 at 5:30 p.m.