Portsmouth Christian Academy Annual Auction Raises $128,452 For Variable Tuition

March 26, 2020 – Dover, NH – On Saturday, March 20, Portsmouth Christian Academy (PCA) held its 26th Annual Auction, raising $128,452 in support of Variable Tuition, the school’s tuition assistance program. One hundred percent of the funds raised goes directly to support families who would otherwise not be able to send their children to PCA.  

Cohosted by Head of School Mike Runey, Variable Tuition Director Elaina Russo, and Lower School Principal Dr. Carrie Abood, the Annual Auction included online bidding on Friday and Saturday, March 19 and 20, and a 90-minute livestream event on Saturday morning. The livestream featured 20 premier auction items and focused on the purpose of the fundraising effort – to raise funds for Variable Tuition at Portsmouth Christian Academy.  

This is the second year that PCA’s largest annual fundraiser to support Variable Tuition was livestreamed. “With our commitment to health and safety, we realized holding our annual auction as a livestream format instead of our traditional in-person event was the right format for our second Spring season with social distancing protocols,” says Head of School Mike Runey. “And while we all miss the live, in-person brunch event, we learned a few things by going virtual last year, and we were able to reintroduce some of the elements that make our auction so special.” 

This year, the school was able to bring back breakfast, enhanced by personal, at-your-door delivery. Interactive engagement—banter and playful bidding wars, a highlight of the in-person event—was encouraged in the Chat portion of the livestream.  

Auction Manager Elizabeth Nanda highlights: “We even had bidding going on for something that wasn’t even in our catalog—a 6-month-long haircut hiatus for a member of the school’s staff! We all had a great time.” 

Participants could bid on everything from adventure trips and lighthouse dinners to week-long vacations and summer camp experiences to weekend getaways and jewelry. 

Added to this year’s program were some new elements, including a third co-host—Dr. Carrie Abood, who changed comedic ensembles each time she came to the stage. Additionally, live performances by the school’s high school band, and testimonials from actual Variable Tuition families were included in this year’s auction. And the school was able to bring back the Art Gallery, featuring student and adult artwork, as well as Class Gifts, donated by each set of homerooms. 

Variable Tuition Director Elaina Russo shares, “From the donated items to the amount raised so far, we continue to be overwhelmed by the love and support of our generous and sacrificially giving community.” 

PCA’s Variable Tuition allows qualified families to receive reduced school tuition that is based on their unique financial situations. According to Russo, “For families who qualify, our Variable Tuition program brings a PCA education within reach for those who may otherwise be unable to consider a private Christian education for their children.” 

Several of those families who have been impacted by Variable Tuition were featured during the live program. Their impactful testimonies spoke to the importance of the annual fundraising effort. The Ross family explained, “Our children are smiling, happy, and love PCA. Their faith has grown, and their eagerness to learn has been heart-warming. The teachers have been so supportive, friendly, and easy to connect with this year. We have had to be creative in figuring out how to cover tuition this year. I cannot imagine how we would have managed without the variable tuition awarded to us.” 

And the Walsh family says, “2020 was a dramatic year for our family. We moved from Rwanda to New Hampshire months earlier than expected. We sold everything we owned there and restarted a life here. We love PCA and were so incredibly grateful that we were able to send our children there last year, something that would have been impossible without Variable Tuition. 

“It is an incredible blessing to see families engage in and support our Annual Auction,” Runey says, “Families who give to this portion of the auction take home no physical item in return. They give because they believe in the mission of our Annual Auction and of our school, and they know that their donation can make an impact in the life of a child who otherwise would not be able to attend our school. It’s one of the more-obvious ways that PCA families demonstrate compassionate community, which is one of our school’s core values.”  

Donations to Sponsor a Child are still being accepted.  

The recording of the Live Stream portion of PCA’s Auction can be viewed at pcaschool.org/auction.  

Portsmouth Christian Academy has been inspiring students on the seacoast to maximize their potential for more than 40 years. PCA provides a nurturing educational environment that emphasizes Christ-centered community, outstanding academics, differentiated learning, and exceptional character. Located just minutes northwest of Portsmouth, NH on a beautiful 50-acre riverfront campus, PCA is a dually accredited, independent, college-preparatory, day school where young people from Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire in preschool through Grade 12 are challenged to thrive academically and grow as servant-leaders prepared to impact the world for good. For more information, fill out the form below!