Annual Rector FFA Dinner-Auction a Big Hit
A large crowd gathered Saturday at the 11th annual Rector High School Future Farmers of America dinner and auction at the Rector Community Center. The evening was a hit with the many students, volunteers and supporters in attendance, as a delicious catfish dinner was enjoyed and a bounty of support through donated items and outstanding bids generated a total of $15,663 for the chapter.
"It went really well," RHS FFA advisor Amy Dawson said. "The community came out and really supported our club. The level of support we receive has just been incredible."
The event was made possible through the efforts of the students, volunteers and donors.
"Our FFA officers and students and the parents and other volunteers worked really hard on getting everything together for this event," Dawson said. "I can't say enough good things about everyone who turned out and worked Friday and Saturday. It was amazing. I want to personally thank everyone who worked, donated something for the auction and did anything to show their support. It means a lot to the students and everyone involved in FFA."
Volunteers could be found throughout the community center, cooking and serving the delicious catfish and fries, working the admission gate and selling ticket for special giveaways like the Old Henry rifle and hand-crafted duck calls.
Over 100 businesses and individuals from Rector, Paragould, Jonesboro, Kennett and other areas donated items for the always-popular auction.
Michael Hollis served as the auctioneer for the event, describing each item while offering his own personal flair to keep the crowd entertained. The students carried the items through the aisles surrounding the seating tables, allowing each item to be viewed up-close by the crowd. Auction items ranged from farm use items such as chemical treatments and tools to household items such as quilts, welcome mats, customized signs and an antique rocking horse. Students collected auction items for over a month, in addition to "special" items made personally by the students, including a deer stand made by the department's award-winning welding students.
Funds raised during the event go toward covering the expenses accrued during the chapter's many events in addition to funding scholarships. Rector FFA funds the Kayley Bell Scholarship, honoring the student who lost her life in a 2011 accident.
"FFA does a lot of different things and is a big part of these kids' lives," Hollis said. "I'm happy to be involved and help support an organization like this."
The event serves as a highlight of the connection between the chapter and the community.
"This is one of the biggest things we do all year," FFA president Daniel White said. "We appreciate everyone who came out tonight and helps support FFA. It helps make everything we do like trips and competitions possible."