2017 Auction Survey Provides Valuable Feedback

Last November and December, the Bonny Slope community was invited to share their thoughts and feedback regarding one of BSCO’s biggest events-- the annual Soiree and Auction.  A huge thanks is due to the 78 parents and community members who completed the survey and gave valuable, constructive feedback.

Leadership for this year’s event was not secured until mid-November, meaning that this year’s team is working within a much shorter time frame than previous years.  While many of the suggestions offered in this survey will not be compatible with this short planning period, all of this data and ideas are appreciated and will be reviewed for further Auction events.

Five common threads:

  1. The past Auction themes have been both a lot of fun, as well as intimidating.
  2. The silent auction and pre-dinner social hour are well received.
  3. Many parents are looking for a simplified, more casual event.
  4. The sign-up parties are popular, yet need more variety.
  5. Ticket price and inclusivity must always be considered.

2018 Auction Response:

Check out how this year’s team is incorporating your feedback:

  • Stepping away (this year) from a costume-driven theme
  • Reducing ticket price to $50 (Feb 22nd until April 1st)
  • Continuing to provide beer and wine
  • Extending the silent auction timeframe to ensure more mingling and socializing before dinner
  • Reducing the length of the live auction
  • Adding a veggie option to dinner

Here is a short recap of the responses. The survey included a mix of required and non-required questions.


Have you previously attended the BSCO Soiree & Auction?

78 responses


Of the 78 respondents, 52 had already attended a BSCO Auction, while 26 had not.

*Any specifics aspects or details that you enjoyed? What were your favorite parts?  *(non-required question)

43 responses

Of the 43 responses, the silent auction was mentioned most often, with ten responses commenting on its value.  

Community members also consistently mentioned the social value of this event. Of the 43 responses, nine specifically mentioned “mingling” with other parents, while nine used the word  “social”  to describe their most enjoyed aspect.  Other popular and similar mentions included seeing friends, having an adults-only evening, and meeting new people.

Other details mentioned included the sign-up parties, the live auction, the themes, dancing, dinner, drinks, the golden raffle, the class art, and the photo booth.

Responses included:

Looking at the silent auction packages & sign-up parties, sipping on a drink & mingling, watching the fun of the live auction.

I love the themes and getting the community together. It’s always such a fun event!

Being able to talk and mingle with other BSE parents on a fun night out while supporting the school.

I love the beginning; time to view silent auction items, have a drink and have a few conversations.

The social part of the event---having a party with other parents and staff members outside of the school is really fun and special.


*What factors played into your decision not to attend? Please check all that apply. *(non-required question)

26 responses


Of the 26 respondents who had not previously attended an auction, the most popular reasons for not attending included a previous conflict (42%) and that the event was “too costumey” (38%).  Seven respondents marked “not my scene,” while five are in their first year at BSE.


*In your opinion, what changes or additions could be made to the event? *(non-required question)

39 responses

Of the 39 responses, the most common suggestions included a more casual event (six responses) and moving away from the themes (six reponses).  Other repeated items suggested included not including dinner, shortening the live auction, reevaluating the seating, and lowering ticket prices.

Also suggested was rethinking the “cocktail party,” switching to every other year, eliminating the DJ, switching auctioneers, changing venue, charging for drinks, better veggie options, changing to electronic bidding, and selling notecards by class levels rather than all grade levels.  Increasing the parties and experiences was also mentioned.

Responses included:

Hmmm.... would love it to be a little less "theme" driven. While a ton of fun, it's just one more stress and expense to worry about. The dinner/live auction does get a bit long. Once we sit down, we don't get up again except to leave. Not sure how to change that, but the most fun happens before dinner.

After auction party with DJ is not necessary. Love the location!!

Something more casual. Between the ticket prices, costumes / themes, roundtrip downtown, and a babysitter, you're looking at at least $500 before you even hit the auction. Perhaps somewhere local with a more casual feel would encourage greater attendance and participation in the silent auction?

Personally, I always favor keeping the ticket price low and having a no host bar. That allows for greater flexibility for those who don't drink (like me). Also, it appeals to a broader crowd.

Simplify the dinner part of the evening. The food is unremarkable, so sit-down dinner is not necessary. Perhaps buffet would be more economical or allow for better food for the same price. Also add more vegetarian choices.


How much would you be willing to pay for an Auction ticket/per person? Please check all that apply. Please note that admission price typically only covers actual costs.

78 responses


62% of all respondents chose $40-$55 as an amount they would be willing to pay for tickets.  The second most popular choice was $55-$70, which was chosen by 45% of respondents.


What items do you feel are most important to include in this event? Please check all that apply.

78 responses


71% of all respondents chose beer and wine as important to include at Auction.  61% also chose appetizers and 47% chose “some level of free drinks.”


Have you previously attended an Auction sign-up party?

78 responses



*If yes, do you have any ideas for improvements, changes, or additions to the sign-up party lineup? *(non-required question)

33 responses

Of the 33 responses, the most popular answers included adding more variety (six responses) and adding more kid and family-friendly options (seven responses).  

Other repeated suggestions were better communication and opening them up to those not attending the Auction.  Other responses mention finding new hosts, buying an entire party, and finding more dad options.  Four responses mentioned that they loved this aspect of the Auction and would not change a thing.

Responses included:

Well, it seems to be the same people hosting and the same people attending. Maybe some new blood and less exclusiveness?

Something that appeals to more families, like a movie night at the school, or just larger, more casual affairs. Targeting specific grades might be nice, since I have zero in common with a fifth grade parent. The wine nights are starting to feel stale.

I think this is the most successful piece of the auction - creating moments throughout the year for parents to meet other parents. I like how these are offered to those outside of the auction as well.

I really enjoyed this gathering! My only suggestion is to make sure all details all clear on the website for timing, expectations, etc.

Sign up parties are a fantastic way to meet other parents and make connections! If parents are willing to host, consider having more family parties where kids are invited as well. Possibly consider holding some grade specific parties for parents and kids to encourage parents to meet other parents in their kids grade. Kickoff a kindergarten book club.

Why do a party. Signup for a private tour of XXX. Where community partners donate time tour something behind the scenes at Nike, trimet, pge, Thprd, Costco. Get outside the box.


*If no, what factors played into your decision not to attend a sign-up party? *(non-required question)

25 responses


Of the 25 respondents who had not attended an Auction party, the main reasons given were “None interested me” (eight responses), “Didn’t know about them” (seven responses) and “Didn’t know anyone attending” (six responses).


Why types of items are you most interested in purchasing? Please check all that apply.

78 responses


78% of respondents are most interested in purchasing smaller items/raffles, priced $25-$50.  The second most popular choice was the silent auction items, generally priced up to $500.


Do you plan on attending this year’s Auction, planned for April 21, 2018?

78 responses


85% of respondents intend to attend the auction, or will ‘maybe’ attend the auction. 15% are no.


Any other input you’d like to share regarding this BSCO fundraiser? *(non-required question)

19 responses

Several suggestions and feedback were mentioned, including:

  • Appreciation for the parents that makes this event happen
  • Simplifying the event or changing venues
  • Eliminating dinner, changing to vegetarian or ethnic meal, or having food donated
  • A Gatsby theme
  • Broadening the “treat the teacher” options
  • Moving to a biannual Auction
  • Being sensitive to inclusion of all parents
  • Emphasizing safe driving home

Thank you for all your feedback!

Winter Community Meeting Wednesday, January 31

The Winter Community Meeting of the Bonny Slope Community Organization is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan 31 at 7pm in the BSE Library, right after Janet Maza’s not-to-be-missed Principal Chat.  This is the second community meeting of the school year.  EVERY SINGLE PARENT at Bonny Slope is a voting member of BSCO.  All are invited and encouraged to attend.


  • Building Connections
  • Smarter Giving
  • Additional STEM opportunities


  • Budget and Spending updates
  • Preschool information
  • Auction status
  • Classroom Projector updates
  • Parent Education Nights - past & upcoming
  • Mazama’s Science School updates
  • Information on Science Night
  • Artist in Residence
  • And more..


Questions regarding any of these items can be directed to Ashish Gupta (president@bonnyslopebsco.org). As a reminder, BSCO holds just three community meetings a year. We look forward to seeing you!


The Pancake Breakfast was Griddle Hot

Last Saturday, more than 650 people from the Bonny Slope community attended the Annual 5th Grade Pancake Breakfast.  It was a collective effort led by the BSE fifth graders, parent volunteers, and BSE staff to raise money for Mazamas Mountain Science School.  The event was a huge success and brought in more than $5000.


We would like to thank the following people:

  • 5th Graders - You hit the streets running and made call downs to sell individual and family tickets, ensuring the event was well attended. You arrived early Saturday morning excited and willing to help. Your order taking skills were impressive, along with your ability to steer carts full of apple juice with minimum spillage.
  • Parent Volunteers - This event was possible because of YOU and your support.  From picking up 80 pounds of pancake mix to going on a late-night butter run to working the griddles the day of the event in red aprons, rubber gloves, and smiles.  You made this fun for all.
  • BSE Staff - Especially Telia Rusin and Jeff Buck! You arrived early, stayed late, and ensured things ran smoothly.  There is no other way we could have kept 1400 sausage links hot for 3 hours.
  • Fifth Grade Teachers - You were such good sports in donning chef hats, bow ties, and clown noses for an entire. school. day - and encouraging kids to participate in the event.  We appreciate your willing spirits.
  • Community - You graciously attended and supported the pancake breakfast.
  • Sponsors - You provided the donations to help create success!  Thank you to Bales, Costco, Market of Choice, Safeway, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, and Winco.  A special shout-out to parent sponsor, Sydney Keister of Eleete Real Estate (503) 730-0936, who ensured we incurred zero procurement costs!

We received many compliments from parents and community members regarding how impressed they were with all of the 5th grade students. They were great representatives of the spirit of Bonny Slope Elementary School and we feel privileged that we had the opportunity to work alongside them.
With gratitude,
Megan O’Malley Cook and Leigh Havelick
BSCO Pancake Breakfast Co-chairs


Build Community by Hosting an Auction Experience

Auction Sign-up Party Myths DEBUNKED
Every year, the sign-up parties/experiences are one of the most popular and successful components of the Auction fundraiser.  These fun and diverse experiences are made possible BY YOU– hosted, organized, and attended by Bonny Slope parents.  

Read on for some serious truths surrounding Auction sign-up parties and experiences.


Auction parties/experiences can be a small affair.  
The host or hosts choose the number of attendees, so an Auction experience can be as few as 10 or over 40.  YOU, as the host, tell US how many you intend to have at your party.

Hosting a party can cost a reasonable amount of money.  
You don’t need to spend an exorbitant amount of money to host an Auction party.  In order to keep it manageable, consider finding three to five friends to host with you or choosing a theme/experience that doesn’t have a lot of overhead, such as:

  • Game Night (kids or couples)
  • A group hike through Forest Park or the Forest Height trails
  • Kids bingo (using BSCO’s bingo boards)

Sign-up parties can involve dads and couples.  
Parties and experiences are more than just for moms.  In fact, couples and dads are welcome!  Have you thought about these for just the guys…

  • A foosball tournament
  • English Premier Soccer viewing party
  • A Super Bowl party
  • A Dad’s Game Truck experience
  • Dodgeball or Kickball game
  • Disc Golf

Or possibly these for a group of fun couples:

  • Murder Mystery
  • Escape Room
  • Trivia Night
  • Bowling
  • Game Night (adults only)
  • Wine tour
  • Oktoberfest
  • Top Golf

Parties don’t have to include alcohol.  
In fact, we are looking for more kid and family friendly experiences.  If you are considering hosting a kid party, think fun birthday party themes.  Here are a few thoughts:

  • Cookie Decorating
  • Nerf Battle
  • Game truck (for kids)
  • Junior Olympics
  • Ice Cream Social
  • Pancakes & Pajamas
  • Doughnuts With Dad
  • Game Night (Apples to Apples, Charades, Pictionary, etc)
  • Bunco (for kids)

Parties can have a cultural spin.
Hosting an Auction party is an excellent way to share your cultural tradition with either kids, adults, or both.  Ideas include:

  • Sushi Rolling
  • Japanese Tea Party
  • Chinese New Year
  • Diwali Craft Party (for kids)
  • Curry Cooking class (for adults)
  • Crepes & Champagne

Unsure of how it all works?  Follow these steps to host an Auction party or experience.

  1. Find two to four other hosts.  Shoot an email out to your friends and see who else is interested. It’s usually more fun to host with people you know, but we can always try and connect you to other interested parents.
  2. Decide on the theme or experience.  Your party doesn’t need to be elaborate, but it should have a fun hook or theme that we can advertise.  Do you want just moms, couples, families, or just kids?  
  3. Contact the Auction Sign-up Party Team to iron out the details like the date, number of attendees, and admission price.  Hannah D., Jenna D., and Kelly K., can help you sort out the details.  Email hannah.wooddonohue@gmail.com to start the process.  All parties need to be finalized by 4/1 in order to be included in the Auction program.

At the BSE Auction, attendees purchase a spot in one or many of these events.  Any leftover spots are sold online after the Auction.  Closer to the party, an evite will be sent to everyone who purchased admission and great fun and memories will be had by all!

Why is it awesome to host an Auction experience?
We’ve got three reasons for you:

  1. It’s tax-deductible.  Any expenses accrued from hosting this party is considered a donation to BSCO.  Therefore, hosts can itemize their costs (up to the amount their party raised).
  2. They’re fun.  Hosts have freedom to create an experience that matches their style and are a great way for parents or kids to have a great time hanging out with other members of the Bonny Slope community.
  3. You meet new people.  Busy lives make it difficult to get out there and meet your neighbors.  The faces you see at BSE will orbit your world for quite possibly the next decade.  Hosting an Auction experience helps us all take that one step closer to building friendships and lasting memories.

If you're interested in being apart of this fun and wildly successful fundraiser, or have questions, contact the Auction Party Sign-up Team (hannah.wooddonohue@gmail.com). We welcome your involvement in any capacity!

OBOB Update for January 25th

OBOB teams, read your Battle FAQs so you know the rules before your battle.  We have a short time (less than 20 minutes) for battles so time spent answering questions about battle rules means we will not be able to finish your battle as everyone must leave for lunch at 11:10 am (for 5th graders) and 12:10 pm (for 4th graders).  

4th grade team:  remind your Specials teachers that you have an OBOB battle so you can be released early enough to get to the battle room on time.  4th grade battles start at 11:50 am and 5th grade battles start at 10:50 am.

Check the battle schedule on the OBOB page.

A big shout out and thanks to all the parents who are volunteering to run the battles!  If you have time and are an approved school volunteer, sign up to be a battle timekeeper or scorekeeper at this link.

See the OBOB page for all OBOB info!

"Making Connections" with Artist in Residence Sarah Ferguson

The 2017-2018 Artist In Residence is Sarah Ferguson and the program will run from February 20th – March 23rd.  Sarah will be teaching painted paper techniques and the art form of constructing collages. These processes and the resulting art will come together to create a mural which will be permanently showcased in the front entrance of the school.

Please join us as an artist volunteer and help guide your student’s classroom as they participate in the art lessons and work with Sarah.  Volunteer signup can be found here: http://signup.com/login/entry/107097078033

AIR K-4 2.jpg

Sarah will work one-on-one with the students to bring this years school theme ‘Making Connections’ to life through her art lessons and hands on student art sessions. K-4 will work with Sarah during two artist sessions to learn the process and to create their own individual pieces to be brought home.  The 5th grade classes will be taken through a journey of brainstorming the mural concept, creating individual art, and reflecting on the process of creation including a dedication ceremony during a school assembly. Art sessions last from 60 mins to 75 mins and all materials will be provided.

BSE is very excited to have Sarah lead our students through this artistic endeavor and we so appreciate the support and passion from all of you for the arts. Be a part of the experience and signup to be an artist volunteer at: http://signup.com/login/entry/107097078033

If you have any questions, would like to learn more about the BSCO Artist in Residence program, or this years featured artist contact: air@bonnyslopebsco.org

BSCO Board Meeting Snapshot & Treasurer’s Report: January 15, 2018

In an effort to boost transparency between the BSCO Board and the BSE community, a monthly snapshot will be published of the various topics discussed at the Board's monthly meetings.  These are not official minutes or a detailed description, but rather a window into the discussion and voting results of the Board.

January Meeting-- 1/15/2018

On Monday, January 15th, the board gathered for their first meeting since winter break and to prepare for the 2nd of 3 community meetings on Wednesday, January 31st. Josh Resch, Kelly Kinzer and DeDe Osborne were unable to attend.  

After the favorable community vote on the incremental science school budget in November, the finer details are getting worked out for 5th graders' upcoming experience at Mazamas.  Chaperones are identified and scheduled to be trained on 2/1.  And, there is another pancake breakfast in the books.  With the help of dedicated committee leads and many volunteers, this year's class of 5th graders greeted, seated and served many families, community members and guests at Saturday's pancake breakfast.  

Despite what seems like a slow implementation, good progress continues on refining the new classroom projector set-up in Basham's and Traller's classrooms and successfully integrating the Apple TVs and speakers.  Refining and finalizing the optimal set-up will ensure large scale procurement and projector roll-out to all classrooms goes smoothly and quickly.  Other community dollars at work include this year's upcoming Artist in Residence program, which will feature local artist, Sarah Ferguson, who specializes in murals.  In sessions beginning late February up to spring break, Sarah will lead and facilitate each classroom through hands-on instruction/workshop, covering color mixing and different ways of applying paint and creating texture.  The board is excited that this year's program will also include a finished mural, which is designed and created by our 5th grade students and permanently installed in the entry of the school.  The mural is expected to incorporate the school year's theme of "Making Connections".

Outside of sustaining the many enriching school programs, the upcoming auction fundraiser prompted a brainstorm of school projects which would require 2018-19 budget.  And, because of the long lead time for getting FIPs (Facility Improvement Plans) approved by BSD, the request form is best submitted well in advance.  Ashish Gupta, President, shared several ideas.  One idea which resonated with many involves Clare Bourquein and Chris Massey’s music program, which offers every BSE student an opportunity to learn and practice music.  Many instruments near the need for replacement after 10 years of use and new speaker and lighting would improve acoustics and spectator viewing during the many gymnasium performances.

On the playground, the cart of games, sports balls, and equipment is showing normal wear and tear.  The board discussed the possibility of a teacher grant to replace the tired equipment.  Proactive measures are being taken to ensure students avoid the play structure when moisture causes slick/unsafe surfaces.  There was an open dialogue about possible pressure washing or grip tape, and how the school district handles the maintenance of such issues.

Holly VanderPloeg, Director of Committees, reported on accomplishments and progress of a number of committees in full swing, inclusive of after-school programs, OBOB, community garden, AIR and Science Night.  Information about the upcoming Science Night on Friday, March 16th was distributed via Friday folders mid January.  In addition to the invitation for all BSE students to design and share his/her experiment or engineering design, a number of STEM vendors are lined up to attract the entire community for an evening of science inquiry and fun.

Ellen Rothery, VP of Fundraising, shared the extensive planning underway for the 2018 auction event, which will be themed around a celebration of the BSE community in its 10th year.  The planning committee has secured over $10k in sponsorship to date and is well into outreach to past donors and connecting with potential new ones.  Help/leads are always welcome in this area. If you own a local business or know someone that does and interested in sponsoring our auction, please contact us! Also looking for auction sign-up party hosts.  We have lots of ideas if you’re considering hosting a party but aren’t quite sure where to start!  Class auction art will be featured again in the live auction and class leads are selecting art ideas and getting organized.

Treasurer, Melissa Gatchell, reviewed the budget, YTD spending and current/projected reserves.  The community is invited to view the current financials here.

Thursday, January 25th is the Next Geography Club Check Day

Study up, Africa Part 1 is the January map and it's a tough one!!

Maps can be printed at home using the following link:

Sign-up genius for volunteering:

Remaining Geography Club Check Days

  • Thursday, January 25-- Africa Part 1
  • Thursday, February 22—Africa Part 2
  • Thursday, March 22—Europe Part 1
  • Thursday, April 26—Europe Part 2
  • Thursday, May 24—Australia & Oceania
  • Thursday, May 31—Recheck Day
  • If you missed a month you can recheck on May 31st or any of the above regular check days.

Congratulations to our December Raffle Winners!!  

Students earn a raffle ticket every time they complete a level.  Raffle Drawings are held three times per year.  These hard working geo club students walked away with a $5 gift card to Powell's Books!!

1st Grade

  • Emma B. (Swardstrom)
  • Zack M. (Parks)

2nd Grade

  • Alec P. (Breton)
  • Leighton S. (Hastings)

3rd Grade

  • Danielle H. (Anderson)
  • Akshaya Y. (Hammond)

4th Grade

  • Henry B. (Osika)
  • Rishi K. (Watz)

5th Grade

  • Katelyn F. (Vaughn)
  • Kaydence F. (Crannell)


If you have questions or are interested in the varied volunteer opportunities, please contact: geoclub@bonnyslopebsco.org

Student Directories Available in the Office

A reminder that we still have some extra printed copies of the Student Directory for sale in the office.  Pick one up today for only $6!

As always, the electronic version is available for FREE on the BSCO website.  The password was distributed by classroom teachers in early November.  If you need the password, please contact your student’s teacher as the office is not able to distribute that information.

Questions?  Contact directory@bonnyslopebsco.org.


Science Night Details!

Please take look at your child's Friday Folder, because in it contains an invitation and information booklet for Science Night!  

Science Night is an annual family-friendly BSCO event held at Bonny Slope Elementary.  This fun filled evening of hands-on science exploration and science projects includes:

  1. A Maker Space – DIY area for students to create, invent and learn
  2. Presentations and Demonstrations – A showcase of local science organizations/vendors using science in the real world
  3. Student Science Experiments and Engineering Designs

This year’s Science Night will take place Friday, March 16 from 6:00 – 8:00pm free of charge!  This event is brought to you by your generous BSCO donations. 

Please note - Students do not need to have a science project in order to attend Science Night.  Everyone is welcome!

However, all Bonny Slope Kindergarten – 5th Graders are invited to participate in creating and presenting a science project at Science Night.  Please don’t think your Kindy/1st Grader is too young, their projects are such crowd pleasers! Science projects are done at home and the display boards are brought to school for Science Night.  There are two type of projects your student can choose from:

  1. Science Experiment
  2. Engineering Design

If your student is interested in doing a project, please visit the Science Night BSCO site for How To documents, project ideas, and pictures of past projects.  www.bonnyslopebsco.org/science

Once your student has decided on a project, please submit an entry form at www.bonnyslopebsco.org/science-fair-entry-form

If you have any questions about Science Night, please let us know! sciencefair@bonnyslopebsco.org