Foundation auction a success 5.13.09

Written by David Green.

A few months ago, members of the Morenci Education Foundation considered skipping over the annual dinner and auction fund-raiser.

With the nation’s economic troubles and many local families and businesses feeling the pinch, the board talked about canceling the event this year, Foundation president Bill Van Valkenburg said.

Board members decided to go forward with the event and now Van Valkenburg knows they made the right decision.

Not only was the event a financial success, he also learned how much many people appreciate the evening.

“We had many people tell us Saturday night that attending this annual event is one of the major highlights of their year and thanked us for hosting another,” Van Valkenburg said. “Some folks there Saturday have attended all seven of our dinners and auctions.”

The Foundation’s scholarship fund grew by more than $5,000 through the auction. Attendance totaled 165 people.

There were fewer auction items for Duane Dunbar to sell this year,  Van Valkenburg said, but bidding was intense on several items. The top money-makers this year were an oak hall tree built by Howard Tew and a seven-course dinner for eight to be prepared by Van Valkenburg. Eight friends went together to purchase the meal. Nine of the donated items were sold for $200 or more.

“We certainly could not do what we do without the support of the community,” Van Valkenburg said. “It’s all about helping our Morenci students.”

  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
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    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
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    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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