30 years of providing community grants for education 


Brittney Burns – Staff Writer

This Saturday, the Academic Foundation will be hosting its 30th annual auction to raise money for public education in Macon County.

“The Macon County Academic Foundation is a 100 percent volunteer committee composed of Macon County school representatives and private business members that meet monthly to discuss and award monetary grants to teachers around the county who request help funding academic projects and field trips for their classes,” said Brian Aulisio, Academic Foundation president.

The purpose of the Foundation is twofold: 1) to help teachers enrich the learning experiences of their students in and out of the classroom, and 2) to give members of the community a tax-exempt way to donate directly to the Macon County School System.

Last year, the annual auction raised $7,800 which went to help fund activities in the school system such as class field trips to Washington, DC and New York City; supplementary reading materials for elementary classrooms; materials for the annual county-wide student art exhibit; chemical refrigerator for high school science lab; digital weather station for a middle school science classroom; elementary class pets for animal studies; student admission fees for a vocational skills tournament in Louisville, Ky.; online virtual video conference programs; and construction supplies for shop programs; and more.

“We approve, on average, over 40 grant requests a year, with an average amount of $200 per grant request,” said Aulisio. “Besides, of course, the money raised for our students and teachers, I believe the auction exemplifies the extraordinary connection between the community and the Macon County school system.  This annual fundraiser has been going strong for 30 years, which is a testament to the continual, robust support of our teachers and students by the people of Macon County.”

“There will be hundreds of prizes of all types,” said Aulisio. “Designer clothing, toys, tools, a new charcoal grill, all types of theme basket lots put together by the schools, several gift certificates to local and out-of-town businesses, a new sewing machine, jewelry, art pieces, month membership at Franklin Health & Fitness, handmade items from the public school shop classes, the list goes on … Also we will have BBQ dinner served, along with a big screen TV raffle and a 50/50 pot split raffle.  The South Macon Elementary Chorus will be performing, and Eric Boatwright will also be there calling the live auction starting at 5 p.m.”

Doors open at 3:30 p.m., Saturday April 1, at Cartoogechaye School, the raffles start at 4:30, and the auction and raffle will continue until all the prizes are gone. Aulisio noted that the Foundation’s doors are always open if anyone would like to participate in what they do.

“We are especially looking to add more representatives of the private sector,” said Aulisio. “If you are interested in learning more about the Macon County Academic Foundation, please contact me at brian.aulisio@macon.k12.nc.us.”