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Dog houses bring in big bucks for Building Trades program

In the spirit of generosity, community members who attended the 1st Annual Dog House Auction on Friday, May 18, at Shooters and Shenanigans hustled to outdo each other in an effort to help make this first fundraiser a success. The event, hosted by The Pagosa Area Builders Advisory Committee (PABAC), raised more than $17,000 in bids and donations.

Many of those who won the bid even donated their claimed dog house back to the bidding floor, where it could be auctioned off again. The highest bid of the evening was $1,400. Professional auctioneers Jake Montroy and Mark Crain moderated the evening’s spirited exchanges.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome in terms of the number of people who turned out and the results of the live auction. We are more than ecstatic with the results,” said Building Trades 1 class instructor Tor Hessman, who led the team of student builders from blueprint to final construction.

Hessman, along with other members of the board -- Larry Ash, Jim Van Liere, Gary Hedgecock, and Annie Sewell -- planned the event.

All proceeds are earmarked for the Building Trades program at Pagosa Springs High School (PSHS). PABAC, through, is assisting the Archuleta School District to develop a Vocational-Technical program. This past year they initiated the Building Trades 1 class with the enthusiastic support of Principal Sean O’Donnell.

“It was great to see many of the students who built the dog houses thoroughly engaged in the event,” said Ash, who has been fostering this kind of collaborative vision for years. “They really got into the spirit. You could tell they were proud of the work that they did and excited to see the community so supportive.”

Also in the works for this coming school year are Building Trades 2, Woodworking 1, and Architectural Product & Furniture Design with new classes in the culinary arts, taught by Food Service Director Todd Stevens. On the horizon, plans are in the works for instruction in careers that support the medical profession and the hospitality industry.

“The incredible success of the event shows how much this community cares about its young people,” said Doug Hershey, PSHS Social Studies teacher and Proud Partners coordinator. “It’s a win-win for everyone -- students, our school, and the community.”


The mood was energized at the dog house auction.