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The Wheat Ridge Carnation Festival Student Garden Bench Auction raised more than $1,000 for local schools. Eleven schools in Wheat Ridge submitted benches to the auction that were painted by their students. The highest bid of $400 went to Everitt Middle School for its bench that featured Denver’s skyline against a mountain backdrop.

The benches were built by Wheat Ridge High School students using donated lumber. The Colorado Construction Institute provided instruction and support to the students as part of a larger effort to equip Jefferson County students with real-world skills. Money raised through the auction will benefit each participating school's art department.

This is the second year that the Wheat Ridge Education Alliance (WREA) has joined forces with local schools, the Colorado Construction Institute, and the Carnation Festival to highlight student-constructed projects. Last year, students built and decorated picnic tables to raise funds at the festival auction. Established in April of 2014, the mission of the WREA is to advance educational excellence in Wheat Ridge schools by working together with city officials, community members, business owners, and educators.