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.”