By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
SHREWSBURY – Last year, when the Shrewsbury Schools Music/Theater Association (SSMA) was gearing up for its Fifth Annual Rockin’ Encore fundraiser, the pandemic hit, and they were forced to cancel. This year, SSMA is excited for things to be different.
For almost 60 years, the SSMA has supported the Shrewsbury public schools’ music and theater programs through fundraising. In a typical year, they raise roughly $50,000.
The Rockin’ Encore was one of the biggest of those fundraising efforts – raising nearly $15,000 on an annual basis. The event featured socialization, cocktails and dancing to the music of local classic rock band Tension.
COVID-19 forces cancellation of 2020 fundraiser
Because they had to cancel their event last year, SSMA was left with over 100 auction items, according to event chair Maurisa Meyer.
This year, their experiences in 2020 still fresh, organizers pivoted and opted to bring the party online by hosting a Rockin’ Auction that will go live, Saturday, April 24 at 10 a.m. It will then run through Sunday, May 9.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Meyer explained in a recent interview.
Prizes will include wine, art, manicure and massage gift certificates, an auto care kit, jewelry and a baseball signed by Red Sox pitcher Nathan Evoaldi.
“The auction is an opportunity for more people to get involved,” Meyer said. “Since it’s running for two weeks, it gives bidders plenty of opportunities to browse items, and they can go back to check on the bidding at any time.”
Meyer pointed out that bidders can also choose to set a maximum bid amount, which triggers an automatic bid on their behalf whenever they are outbid. Or they can choose to buy an item outright at the “Buy Now” price, which is available on most items.
Any amount paid above the retail price is tax-deductible.
Auction takes on amplified role
As this auction is moving forward, other SSMA events like their music drive and annual grand raffle have been canceled due to the lingering pandemic.
“This is replacing all our usual fundraisers that we do to cover all the things that the SSMA normally does,” Meyer said.
President Mark Adler said that the group has drawn down its reserves to pay for things such as sheet music, instruments and other projects.
Undaunted, still, the SSMA Board and volunteers carry on and are passionate about what they do. They say they are excited about this year’s Rockin’ Auction.
Adler reiterated that the event is open to everyone, and the link can be shared with family and friends, near and far.
For more information about the SSMA and to access the auction, visit: http://www.myssma.com.