Four Morenci graduates were chosen to receive Distinguished Alumni awards in April and donations are sought for the benefit auction.
The 10th annual dinner and auction event brings in money to benefit the scholarship fund of the Morenci Education Association.
This year’s honored alumni are Dr. Keith Beck (1961), Rev. Jack Mannschreck (1977), Jennifer (Vanlerberg) Blaker (1995) and Bill Van Valkenburg (1969).
The evening is dedicated to Bill and Rosie Van Valkenburg and the theme of the event is “You Make a Difference.” Bill Van Valkenburg, who serves as president of the foundation, has brushed aside suggestions in the past that he deserves an alumni award. That will change this year.
“Without Bill’s vision, dedication and commitment, the Morenci Education Foundation would not exist,” said foundation vice president Rosemary Dickerson. “With Rosie at his side, Bill got the ball rolling and now 10 years later over $100,000 has been awarded to Morenci students and teachers through scholarships and mini-grants.”
Van Valkenburg has served as the president of the foundation throughout its existence, Dickerson added.
This year’s dinner and auction is scheduled April 14, with the buffet supper starting at 5:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria. The cost is $25 for a single person and $40 for a couple. Tickets are available at the board of education building on Page Street or at the United Bank and Trust office in Morenci. Tickets can also be ordered via the foundation website at www.morencieducationfoundation.org
Auction items have started to come in, Van Valkenburg said, but more are needed. Donations can be taken to the board of education building or United Bank and Trust office.