Rector FFA Dinner Auction a Success

Thursday, March 16, 2017
The crowd at the Rector FFA dinner and auction pay close attention during bidding for the many items donated to the cause.(TD photo/Jane Gatewood)

The Rector FFA chapter held its 15th annual catfish dinner and auction Saturday, March 11. The Rector Community Center was the site of the gathering of supporters who were looking for great food, and the opportunity to win auction items which would help fund and support the local FFA chapter.

Rector High School agri teacher, and FFA sponsor, Michael Hollis opened the evening by introducing the McClellan team of Rodney, Laura and Chase McClellan of Paragould, and Joel Grimes of Brookland, who ran the auction by

providing auctioneers, ringers and clerks. Agri teachers B.J. Lenderman from Marmaduke, Homer Lenderman from Hoxie, along with Lane Lenderman and Lane Wells, remained busy clerking and ringing throughout the auction.

Hollis' FFA students assisted with keeping the buffet table filled with fish, chicken, French fries and hush puppies. The students also sold raffle tickets, displayed the auction items and called out raffle ticket colors and numbers for the lucky winners who came forward to select their prizes. The chapter members, and Ty Haney, also interacted with the crowd in an effort to keep the action enthusiastic and entertaining.

Over 200 people gathered in the RCC's Crockett Multi-Purpose Room, paying $10 per person for the fish supper. The crowd enjoyed conversation and good-natured ribbing during the auction proceedings. At one point, auctioneer McClellan called Rector superintendent Johnny Fowler to the front and gave him a new cap to pass among the crowd. Money was placed into the hat until it was overflowing with various bills. The "money-cap" was then sold, with the winning bid surpassing $200.

There were well-over 100 auction items, ranging from a picnic table or metal and wood bench constructed by Rector FFA, to a feed trough, farming implements, duck calls and toy tractor sets. Purchasing one of the 10 duck

calls featured also gave bid winners a chance at a Hatfield 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun or a Savage .30-06 hunting rifle. Add-ons to the auction list included several pecan pies, a German chocolate cake and a sugar-free banana pudding donated by FFA supporters for the benefit of the organization.

Late in the evening, McClellan summoned Hollis, FFA officers and members to form a line at the front -- and again persuaded former FFA teacher and current superintendent Fowler to join them. He then auctioned-off the entire group

of 13 students and adults for an eight-hour work day, with lunch to be provided by the winning bidder. Kathy Fowler made the winning bid for the entire group, her husband included in the lot.

Hollis reported the one-night raised more than $12,000 to the program before expenses. He further noted Cary Clayton won the shotgun and Craig Miller won the rifle. Hollis thanked everyone who came to the auction and those who worked behind the scenes. "The money we raise from this auction funds educational trips for the FFA students, pays for hotel rooms at state

and National FFA Conventions, and underwrites the costs involved with the students showing livestock," he added.

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