Attention all "Love Boat" aficionados. South Elementary School has set a course for adventure, its biggest fundraiser of the year, according to parent organizers. One of the highlights of the evening will be a raffle for a cruise for two to Bermuda.

The school's Spring Auction will be held on Saturday, April 4, at Salvatore's Function Hall in Lawrence from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. The evening will include dinner, dancing and silent and live auctions.

The auctions will feature close to 200 items donated by sponsors both in Andover and outside of the community. Among the treasures to be auctioned off will be South School students' artwork. South's physical education teacher Dave Giribaldi and Dave Fazio, Andover High School's boys basketball coach, will provide entertainment as auctioneers. People who have a great item to donate or are just interested in joining in the fun can contact Kelle Sutliff, auction chairwoman, at 978-475-0067.

A release from organizers says, "While some people may question why such a big fundraiser during these tough economic times, the answer is simple. As the school budget becomes tighter and tough choices need to be made, parents have taken up the challenge to try and help."

"Because of the uncertainty surrounding the state's ability to fund local education, the school administration has put a freeze on school spending. The PTOs have been asked to pay for items that the town would normally cover. This has put increased pressure on the PTOs to raise funds." Judy Norton, South's PTO co-president said in a release.

Parents hope to raise funds to provide enrichment opportunities, educational materials, new technology such as Smart Boards, and basic necessities for all the students, they said. The event will feature a signed Dustin Pedroia bat, autographed baseballs from Pedro Martinez and Josh Beckett, and a Tom Brady autographed football

"Fundraisers are always important in providing students with a rich, diverse educational experience. Staff members are extremely grateful to our PTO and parents coordinating the auction committee who raise money for our school. They have planned a tremendous evening that has something for everyone. This will surely pull us together as a team with a common purpose. You can't underestimate the positive impact these events have on a school community," Colleen McBride, South School principal, said in the release

Tickets are $50 per person and available by contacting Sutliff at 978-475-0067.

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