01 May Auction benefits Lighthouse Christian School’s operating budget, security

‘AN EVENING AT SEA’ EVENT: Principal says officials have an obligation to improve safety
BRETT DAVIS of the Gateway

Stephen Roddy, principal and director of education at Lighthouse Christian School, said $155,000 was raised during a March auction. The money will go toward the school’s operating budget and improved security. LEE GILES III/Staff photographer

Stephen Roddy, principal and director of education at Lighthouse Christian School, said $155,000 was raised during a March auction. The money will go toward the school’s operating budget and improved security.
LEE GILES III/Staff photographer

More than 200 bidders recently helped raise about $155,000 to benefit Lighthouse Christian School’s operating budget, as well as planned security improvements.

Sea creatures and festive attire set the tone for the school’s annual benefit auction, “An Evening at Sea,” at the March 16 event, where guests bid on everything from gift baskets and jewelry in a silent auction, to ski vacations and blown-glass projects in a live auction.

“We were abundantly blessed by local businesses, alumni families and school families who provide an amazing selection of auction items,” event chair Sally Glover said in a news release. “As we continue to work to provide an excellent program that is accessible to families from all socioeconomic circumstances, the auction proceeds will enable us to continue our focus on technology integration, solid foundational sills, spiritual training, creative problem-solving and staff compensation that is equivalent to the public-school
scale.”

While annual tuition covers about 85 percent of the interdenominational kindergarten-through-eighth-grade Gig Harbor school’s annual operating budget, fundraising such as the auction helps shrink the gap between the two, said Stephen Roddy, principal and director of education .

Bids to accomplish the scope of an initiative to enhance school security totaled nearly $60,000 and were raised in a five-minute period during the auction’s fund-a-need segment.

“Parents have entrusted their precious family members to our care,” Roddy said. “If we can do even one thing to make Lighthouse Christian School safer, we have an obligation to try.”

Planned security upgrades include the installation of a double-door system in the school’s upper and lower entrances, a badge/security system and camera monitoring.

In addition, Roddy said school personnel will receive training on threat assessments.

“Our goal is to increase the security of our facility, students, staff and administrators, while at the same time
maintaining as open and inviting an educational environment as possible,” Security Committee co-chair Rick Barney said in a news release. “As we work to train children who are academically challenged, socially versed, spiritually minded and equipped to make a positive impact in their community, we want to provide the safest environment possible.”

Lighthouse Christian School, which was founded in 1994 and has a student body of 318 this year, is currently enrolling students from kindergarten through eighth grade for the 2013-14 school year. For more information, call Glover at 253-858-5962.
Reporter Brett Davis can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at brett.davis@gateline.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_brett.