That's a record.
Here's how we did it:
Kid carnival night was a separate event, about a month before the auction. That brought in $2500+. I'm including it in the total, because we used to combine the two events.
The "suggested donation" for wine or beer was $4. We went through one keg of beer (donated), and 3.5 cases of wine (donated). The jar had $2000 by the end of the night.
We raffled off an ipad. The mac store sold it to us at cost. 3 families put up the money to pay for it. The raffle brought in around $3000.
We sold tickets to the event, $10 each. Teachers were on the "guest list" and did not have to pay. Tickets brought in around $1600.
The auctioned items brought in close to $14,000. We had one table of "big ticket" items ($150 and up). There were over 200 donations. Several classrooms put together elaborate themed baskets (garden, arts and crafts, lego). Some folks paid slightly over retail value, while others got a bargain--i.e. $1000 voucher for orthodontic work for $500. I think that's important because it motivates more people to come to the auction--not just the ones with disposable income.
We had a wine table--this is all the rage! You ask anyone you know who likes wine if they might have a few bottles to donate from their "stash." Bottles should range from pretty darn good ($15) to "Wow!" ($100+). You only need a couple of really over the top bottles to make it exciting. Bag the bottles in plain brown bags and set them out on a table. Customers pay $20, grab a bag, unwrap, and.....ta-da. They got something, maybe something really really good. A friend of mine who's family recently went to one income loved this--she got a great bottle of wine, she could afford it, and she didn't have to compete to get it. We had 72 bottles, which means $1440 dollars. Easy money!
We had to pay for soda, pizza, veggie trays, fruit trays, and cookies. Cost was less than $1000. I did not subtract this in the total because I am still reveling in the triumphantness.
I wore a ridiculous silver cocktail dress from the early 60's, in case you're wondering. Not because it was officially formal or even dressy, but just because I likes me a party dress.