Art Gala event planned to benefit Bethesda School

Submitted photo

Bethesda Lutheran School students Olivea Lauing and Adalyn Kathman pait Georgia O’Keefe-inspired flowers for the upcoming Art Gala/Silent Auction to be held Sept. 24 at the Red Rock River Resort in Hot Springs.


HOT SPRINGS – A fun, new fundraiser for Bethesda Lutheran School is coming up in Hot Springs on Saturday, Sept. 24, which will not only help provide a means for the school to purchase some much-needed equipment, but also provide a night out on the town for community members to enjoy a fall evening.

The first-ever Fundraiser Art Gala/Silent Auction will run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Red Rock River Resort (603 N. River Street), with the first hour open to everyone including children, with the 6 to 9 p.m. timeframe reserved for adults only.

According to K-3rd Bethesda Lutheran School Teacher Rachel Utecht, when guests arrive at the event, they will be welcomed with the sound of live music provided by Emily and Company out of Sturgis.  There will be a large table filled with meats, cheeses, crackers and other charcuterie-style food.  Red Rock River Resort will be providing a cash bar. 

Around the lobby, there will be Silent Auction items/baskets from local donors and donors throughout the Black Hills. Each silent auction item will be paired with framed artwork made by one of Bethesda’s primary students.

“The winner of the bid will take home the silent auction item as well as the artwork,” Utecht said. “We are providing the first hour open to families so that the children can dress up and experience the event and see their artwork in a family-friendly atmosphere. The auction will begin at 6 p.m. when it becomes an adult-only event. Bethesda Lutheran School will be providing childcare for a suggested donation price at the school.”

Utecht said the fundraiser idea came to life during a parent-teacher conference last Spring.

“One of the parents and I were discussing some of the needs of the school,” Utecht said. “As a small, private school, much of the budget for each school year goes to salaries and curriculum, and leaves little in the budget for other things. This parent had moved from the West Coast and had attended some fun fundraisers.  As I love to teach Art and the children love Art class, we thought it would be fun to combine a Fine Arts night with our fundraiser.”

Some of the needs of the school are to update the technology currently utilized in the classrooms, which includes the need for a second SMART board for the school’s recently hired second full-time teacher. As the school continues to grow, Utecht said there is also a need for additional laptop computers.

“Each week our students have S.T.E.M. time, and we are always looking for ways to improve and update our materials to keep the students learning, growing and engaged,” she said.

“We’d also like to make improvements to our playground and make it more ‘hands-on’ and interactive.  Some of the ideas are to add things such as magnet walls, ramps, funnels, balances, water tubes, sound walls, and a cement bike-riding path.”

Some of the donations so far which will be available to purchase at the silent auction include: 1/2 beef, hand-carved cribbage table, hand-carved pen and pencil set, Moccasin Springs Gift Certificate, Evan’s Plunge Gift Certificate, Kate Spade Sunglasses from Vision Source, Chipotle gift certificates, Reptile Gardens passes, Rush Mountain Adventures, a plate from Israel, quilts, hand-carved crosses, Harley Davidson gear, dollhouse, a case of wine, a stay at Hart Ranch, tickets to Wild West Wednesday at Hart Ranch, furniture from River Street Emporium, a Jon Crane print, hand-made cards, a cheesecake/month for a year, Pirates Pub gift certificate, The Gun Vault gift certificate, Scheels gift card, a cow painting/print from Ace Hardware, Sonny’s and Lynn’s Dakotamart gift certificates, baby moccasins, apple pie and a pan of bread pudding. 

Bethesda Lutheran School is a private, Christian school that strives to provide an excellent Christ-centered education to all students. Bethesda Lutheran School provides a preschool and primary (K-3rd) learning experience with child-care in the afternoons.

“Our current enrollment is 15 students in the primary classes,” Utecht said. “We have two full-time teachers, a half-time teacher along with several volunteers.  We have a small student to teacher ratio, which gives more individualized attention to each student.”

Students at Bethesda receive a full curriculum, which includes Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, Keyboarding, Music, P.E., Library, Art, Tinker (STEM time), Chapel, and Bible Time. Students also participate in field trips, the Rapid City Christian school track and field day, host a Halloween Trunk or Treat/Soup Dinner, put on at least two programs per year

 “The school is dedicated to teaching the children the knowledge, character, and faith, to be serving, productive students and citizens in Hot Springs and beyond,” Utecht said, while adding that there are scholarships also available.

The Sept. 24 fundraiser is free to attend but there will be a free-will donation option at the door.

For more information, call the school at 605-745-6676.

Fall River County Herald Star

EDGEMONT OFFICE: 410 2nd Avenue   Edgemont, SD 57735-0660 | 605.662.7201
HOT SPRINGS OFFICE: 334 S. Chicago St.  Hot Springs, SD 57747 | 605.745.3930
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