Highlander Hoedown 2019 FAQ

Our Homecoming Weekend is this Friday and Saturday, and online bidding is now open for our auction! You can order tickets and check out the items here: MHAGives.givesmart.com. New items will be added throughout the week, so check back often!

We are building on last year’s success and hope you are excited about celebrating who we are as a community. From Grandparents Day, Homecoming Games, and Alumni Celebrations to the Highlander Hoedown and Talent Showcase – it’s a family-friendly, casual weekend with opportunities to fellowship, feast, and fundraise.

Hosting such a large event on our MHA campus means seating is limited. Last year’s event sold out, so please purchase your tickets by Tuesday, October 1 to guarantee your seat!

Here’s everything you need to know!


Q: What is Homecoming Weekend?

It is a weekend of celebrating the MHA community – our grandparents, alumni, students, families, faculty, and staff – and raising money to support our mission and vision. All festivities will be held right here on the Mars Hill campus. The Highlander Hoedown October 5 is our largest fundraising event this school year.


Q: What’s new this year?

Our second Homecoming Weekend is reminiscent of last year’s inaugural event with several key differences!

1. Perhaps the most exciting news is the announcement of an Angel Donor prior to the event. As you may have already read, an anonymous donor has come forward with up to $150,000 in matching funds, which will be used for capital improvements! Praise God for this generous offer! You may help MHA take advantage of this gift by donating online, contacting Mrs. Lisa Knodel prior to the event, and bidding on silent auction items and raising your paddle at the Hoedown.

2. This year’s entertainment is a new MHA Talent Showcase – full of upbeat, humorous, and fantastic acts you won’t want to miss!

3. Families are encouraged to attend the Talent Showcase together. Parents should collect their children at the conclusion of the dinner on their way to the Talent Showcase. Parents may choose to have their children in grades 1-3 participate in optional structured activities led by MHA mother and PTF chair Emily Franks during the Talent Showcase. *We do ask that guests stay seated and refrain from coming and going during the Talent Showcase.

4. Childcare will be available throughout the evening to children in kindergarten and younger in three classrooms with a fourth classroom for eating dinner.

5. Adults and Rhetoric School students will eat outside in the tent, while Grammar School students will likely eat inside. There will be activities for the Grammar School students, including table-top activities, a service station, and games.


Q: What is the schedule for the weekend?

Grandparents Day, Oct. 4, 9 a.m. to noon – per our usual tradition with classroom visits and performances (early dismissal at noon). Students should wear their essential uniforms.

Homecoming Games, Oct. 4

  • 4:30 p.m. Varsity Soccer v. Cincinnati Christian

  • 5:00 p.m. JH Volleyball v. Cincinnati Trailblazers

  • 6:00 p.m. JH Soccer v. Legacy Christian

  • 6:00 p.m. JV Volleyball v. Cincinnati Trailblazers

  • 7:00 p.m. Varsity Volleyball v. Cincinnati Trailblazers

An inflatable slide will be available from 5 p.m. until dusk, included with your Homecoming Ticket.

Friday also is a time to honor our alumni. Many of you have children who have graduated from MHA, and we would love to have them celebrate with us. Please let your alums know there will be an Alumni Hospitality tent during the Friday games, where they will receive a goodie bag with free admission to the games, a free Chick-fil-A meal, and free popcorn. They will be invited to join the Chamber Singers in singing the National Anthem at the beginning of the varsity volleyball game. Additionally, a sponsor has offered to cover tickets to the Hoedown for any alumni who are in college.

Highlander Hoedown, Oct. 5

5:30 p.m. Registration at the tent and check-in for children inside MHA
6:00 p.m.  BBQ dinner, silent auction, student performances
7:15 p.m.  Talent Showcase (see below for more details)
*Childcare for children kindergarten and younger will be provided for the entire evening


Q: What can I expect at the Hoedown?

To help capture the hoedown feel, dinner and silent auction will be held out under a tent!

Please note: based on our guest count, Grammar School students likely will be assigned seating in the school.

Families will join together in the gym for the Talent Showcase. Parents should collect their children at the conclusion of the dinner on their way to the Talent Showcase. Parents may choose to have their children in grades 1-3 participate in optional structured activities led by MHA mother and PTF chair Emily Franks during the Talent Showcase. Childcare is available during the entire evening for kindergarten-aged children and younger. *We do ask that guests stay seated and refrain from coming and going during the Talent Showcase.


Q: What is appropriate dress attire for the Hoedown?

Grab your boots and flannel and fully embrace the hoedown theme or simply come in your comfortable casual attire.


Q: What is the cost of the event?

Tickets for the Hoedown are $15/adult, $10/child, with discounted family tickets available. Tickets include gate admission to all the athletic games and wristbands for an inflatable slide Friday, as well as tickets to the hoedown.

Can’t make it Saturday? Wristbands will be sold at the game for $3 and families simply pay regular gate admission.

Q: How do the various giving opportunities work?

This year, we have a unique fundraising opportunity. An anonymous Angel Donor will match every donation dollar for dollar up to $150,000. Please help us take advantage of this generous gift!


As guests arrive, the online bidding staff from GiveSmart will:

         * Ask for a first and last name along with a cell phone number; and

         * Swipe the guest’s credit card in order to preserve any bids, donations, purchase


Silent Auction

The Silent Auction will include a variety of items, like performance tickets, family activity packages, jewelry, restaurant packages, etc. Guests are assigned personal bid numbers, which they will use as their personal identifier for bidding. The person (bid number) with the highest bid at the close of the silent auction wins the item.


In addition to the Silent Auction, targeted giving opportunities are available and available to view on the online bidding website.

Paddle Raise

Following the Talent Showcase, we will have a Paddle Raise in which guests have the opportunity to donate a dollar amount. We are excited to unveil this year’s paddle raise projects at the Hoedown!


Q: How does online bidding work?


To place bids, purchase items, or make a donation, register online!


Continue bidding directly from your computer!


Click the BLUE link in your welcome text message, and it will take you to your personal bidding page. Click on an item you would like to bid on. The GiveSmart system prepopulates with the next minimum bid so all you have to do is push BID. If you’d like to go higher just enter a new amount and push BID. To have the GiveSmart system automatically bid for you to a designated amount, please select AUTO BID and enter a higher amount. The system will bid for you incrementally up until your designated amount only if someone bids against you.

Bid via TEXT

To see current bid, reply to your welcome text and simply text the 3-digit item number. Example: “102”, then hit send. Then, text the 3-digit item number and amount you would like to bid. No dollar signs ($) needed. Example: “102 300”, then hit send. You placed a $300 bid on item number 102.

Items Available for Purchase

Click on the category option and select “Available for Purchase” and then select on the item that you would like to purchase. In the field labeled, “Enter the number to buy”, input the quantity that you would like to purchase and then click BUY. If you would like to text in to purchase the item, text in BUY and the item number. Example “Buy 106”, then hit send.

Donate Now

Simply click the “Click to Donate” button on your smartphone and enter an amount or text “Give” and amount. Example “give 100”.


Q: How do I pay for expenses at the event?

You will use your bid paddle and personal identification number you receive at check-in to bid on items and make purchases. Your expenses will be put in your ‘cart,’ and you will have the chance to review all purchases before you check-out at the end of the night. Once again, you will put a credit card on file when you check-in to the event. If you participated in the online bidding prior to the event, you will already have a credit card saved in the GiveSmart system. If you would like to swap out cards at the event, no problem. You will just let a GiveSmart rep know at check-in. You are also welcome to pay by cash or check at the end of the evening.