Catholic school to auction residential lot as fundraiser

rheaton@beaufortgazette.comDecember 3, 2011 

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This isn't some bake sale fundraiser.

St. Gregory the Great Elementary School in Bluffton is auctioning off a lot in the Baynard Park neighborhood to raise money for the private Catholic school.

The lot was donated by Gregory and Marquitta Alia, whose daughter attended the school before the family moved to Maryland about three years ago.

Gregory Alia said that at one point, the family planned to build a home on the lot. Since they won't be moving back to Bluffton, though, he decided to donate the land to help the school, which the family watched grow from the ground up.

"I know the real estate market is hell in a handbasket," Alia said. "So for a family trying to build a house, it's a great opportunity, and it helps the school out in return."

The opening bid for the 0.3-acre lot at 15 Stoney Point Drive is $10,000.

The assessed value of the lot is $120,000.

The auction will end at the discretion of the school's principal, Sister Canice Adams. Attempts to reach her for comment were unsuccessful.

There's no set amount the school is hoping to get, parent volunteer Kim Schidrich said.

Unless Adams accepts a bid earlier, the auction will close on Feb. 11, the date of the school's annual fundraiser dinner.

Typically, Schidrich said, items such as gift certificates or vacation packages are auctioned at the event. The lot prompted a special auction.

"With about 350 people attending the event, you'd only get a handful of people interested in the lot," Schidrich said.

So, the school decided that opening bidding to the community would be the best option.

Schidrich said if there's no bidder, the Alias will keep the land because the school isn't interested in owning it.

Bids can be emailed to Schidrich. Emails should be addressed to SchidrichS@aol.com and should include name and bid amount.

The winner is expected to pay for the title search and title insurance. Attorney Russell Patterson has offered to represent the lot's winner for free in the purchase.

Regardless of what the auction nets, Schidrich said the fundraiser is exciting for the school.

"We've never received an item like this," she said. "This is something big for Saint Gregory's."

Follow reporter Rachel Heaton at twitter.com/HomeroomBft.

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Saint Gregory the Great Elementary School

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