Head north: Alaska-themed CommUnity Auction a success

March 4, 2019

SCOTTVILLE — Dressed in prospector’s clothing, fishing gear, plaid flannels and moose costumes, donors and sponsors flocked to Scottville Optimist Hall by the hundreds Saturday to help raise money for Mason County Central Schools at the 24th annual Spring CommUnity Auction.

The attire was in keeping with the theme — North to Alaska — and a festive spirit overtook the evening as raffles were held and big-ticket items were auctioned off to raise money for classroom improvements and educational opportunities in the MCC school district.

Sponsored by the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Mason County Central Educational Foundation, the Spring CommUnity Auction is the largest fundraiser of the year for MCC, and Saturday’s event is expected to bring in $30,000 or more, according to organizers.

Chamber President Brandy Henderson Miller and MCC Schools Superintendent Jeff Mount thanked attendees for their generosity, and talked about some recent purchases made with funds raised by the MCCEF, including touchscreens for students in the middle school and high school buildings.

“The money’s going to great causes through the chamber and the Mason County Central Educational Foundation, and we can’t do it without you or the donors who donated most of these prizes out here,” Mount said. “It does truly take a village to raise a child, and the money that we make here goes back to the children in the classroom.”

Ticket sales were up from last year, according to organizing committee member Polly Myer.

“We’ve sold 300 tickets, so we’re up about 40 people from last year,” she said.

Auction items included three trail cameras; a handmade quilt depicting an Alaskan outdoor scene donated by Donna Reeds and Norma Andersen; a family trip to Double JJ Resort donated by local chiropractors John Hendricks, Bill Ingle, Jim Morley, Jacob Seng, Lew Squires and Marc Yeck; an 8-week-old, pure-bred German shepherd puppy donated by breeder Dave Teeter, and much more.

The puppy went to Kimberly Marrison of Pentwater, who named her Juno.

Marrison said Juno will be warmly embraced by her new owners, and that she, husband Jim and sons Tiler and Mason are delighted to have her.

“She will be a family dog,” Marrison said.

Emcee and MCCEF President Gary Andersen said it will take at least a week to total up all the funds raised through auctions and ticket sales, but noted that the auction was already a success, thanks to the donors and the sponsors and community volunteers who organized the event.

“It’s comfortable, everyone’s happy and people are meeting, socializing and working on new relationships,” Andersen said.

Hand 2 Hand

Fred and Mary Dewys, event coordinators for the Hand 2 Hand program at Mason County Reformed Church were at the auction for the third year in a row, partnering with the chamber and MCCEF to help provide food to district students in need.

The Hand 2 Hand booth was set up at the entrance to the Optimist Hall, where Fred and Mary greeted guests and collected donations — either an item from an approved list of non-perishable food, or a $1 cash donation — in exchange for raffle tickets.

“We gather food and distribute it once a week to the kids that have been chosen to receive it,” Mary said. “We send home a bag of food on Fridays for them to take home.”

Fred said the collaboration with the Spring CommUnity Auction has been beneficial to the cause.

“We probably get two or three boxes of food from donations that are brought in, and between $200 and $400.”

The program currently serves nearly 100 students in the MCC elementary schools, as well as the middle and high school.

“We have five different food programs, different meals we send out, so it’s a different meal every week,” Fred said.

He added that the church is always seeking donations to keep the program running, and encouraged anyone interested in helping to call the church at (231) 757-2088.

2020 to mark 25th year

Andersen said plans are already underway for next year’s 25th annual Spring CommUnity Auction.

Once it totals up donations from the event, preparation will begin for next year. Andersen said a theme has already been selected, and that the auction will mark its 25th anniversary with a tribute to the silver screen.

“It’s going to be ‘Hollywood: Lights, Camera, Auction,’” he said.