Great American Picnic, silent auction return to Chautauqua

The Great American Picnic and silent auction began small.

“It’s been going on forever,” said Pat McDonald, vice president of the Alumni Association of the CLSC. “We used to have it on the lawn near Alumni Hall. But now we’ve had so many donations in recent years, we’re going to have the silent auction in the Seaver Gymnasium.”

At noon on Sunday, July 17, on the lawn of the Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall, the 2022 Great American Picnic will begin. The silent auction will take place at the same time in the Seaver Gym — a new location but the “same great stuff,” as the Alumni Association describes it. 

“The local Thursday Morning Brass Band plays at the picnic,” McDonald said. “The auction is to raise money for the scholarship program that the Alumni Association sponsors. It’s for local high school students and local teachers and librarians to take classes at Chautauqua.”

The Great American Picnic will have hotdogs, chips, salad, potato salad, watermelon, baked beans and cake, as well as games for kids. All the money raised goes to the Alumni Association.

“It goes to the Alumni Association’s upkeep of Alumni Hall and the programs that we do,” McDonald said. 

According to McDonald, the Alumni Association only has the silent auction once a year. In 2022, the auction will offer furniture, art, jewelry and other miscellaneous household items. 

“All the money we raise goes to support those scholarships,” she said. “The high school kids spend a week here, they stay with a family and take a class and they get to see what Chautauqua is all about. It’s a community outreach program that we sponsor.”

Tags : Communityliterary arts

The author Chris Clements

Chris Clements is reporting on literary arts during his third summer with The Chautauquan Daily. He has previously written previews for the Interfaith Lecture Series and Sacred Song Services and covered literary arts digitally in 2020. Chris is a second-year grad student at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he is a Master of Fine Arts candidate in creative writing, specializing in fiction. He’s passionate about all things related to literature, music and film, especially author David Foster Wallace, jazz singer Cecile McLorin Salvant and the films of Paul Thomas Anderson.