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Spy theme of CHS fund-raiser turns guests into high rollers

by: David F. Ashton,  “Place your bets” cries roulette croupier Ryan McKenzie, as he spins the ball for high rollers Marilyn McKenzie, Colleen Beckmeyer and Marla Fuller.

On Saturday night, March 3rd, Oaks Amusement Park was alive with the tinkle of cocktail glasses, the sound of the ball spinning in the roulette wheel, and folks dressed formally. Although it was a Cleveland High School fund-raiser, you'd have expected to see Agent 007 slip in at any moment.

Sporting the theme '007 - License to Spend', the sold-out annual Cleveland High School Auction, hosting 400 guests, was part party, and part fund-raising event.

'The money we raise,' organizer Corrie Dawn Greiling-Fritsch told us, 'is spent on all sorts of things: books, computers and technology.'

According to organizer Greiling-Fritsch, the silent and live auction's two paddle bids fund the school's foundation and educational technology. 'The balance of the funds is to be spent all throughout the school, for things like sports uniforms, text books, everything under the school that it needs.'

As attendees glided past the silent auction tables, the cool jazz sounds of the duo calling themselves 'Groover Cleveland' played in the background.

'It is a fun event,' said Greiling-Fritsch. 'There is a lot of camaraderie. We keep the ticket prices reasonable, so it's not just the elite who can attend. The fact that all of the people in the school and the community come together to support education is a phenomenally good thing. They're spending their money on our kids.'

This year's event, Cleveland High's largest fundraiser of the year, raised $100,000 for academics, the performing arts, and athletics.

'It looks like it's another huge success,' exclaimed Greiling-Fritsch. 'Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's auction. From committee members, to donors, to bidders - we couldn't do it without you!'