Town Crier News Staff
Manila Future Farmers of America Alumni Association held its 10th annual auction and dinner with over 350 in attendance on Friday evening. The event is held each year at the Manila Community Center and all proceeds go toward scholarships. The dinner was catered by Ed's Country Catfish House.
Members of the Manila High School FFA assisted in the dinner and auction.
Volunteering their time and talent were auctioneers Paul Robbins, Sammy Williams, and Scott Gifford.
MHS FFA Adviser Dale Poag welcomed everyone expressing appreciation to all of the area businesses and individuals who donate each year to help make the auction successful.
The evening began with Poag making three special presentations to three families -- the Carol Benson family, the Donnie Kelton family and the Zach Whited family.
"These people set an example," Poag said.
He spoke briefly about each one and presented each family with a framed print in their memories.
Through the annual auction, the Manila FFA Alumni Association has assisted about 30 Manila graduates with scholarships to college or vocational technical schools.
This year the Alumni Association will be giving a $1,000 scholarship to a Riverside graduate in memory of Donnie Kelton and a $1,000 scholarship to a Buffalo Island Central graduate in memory of Zach Whited. A third memorial scholarship will be given to a Manila graduate in memory of Carol Benson.
"We get a lot of support from our surrounding towns and we decided we wanted to give back to their communities by including their young men and women by offering scholarships to help further their education," FFA Alumni Association President Ernie Malloy said.
Following the presentation, the auction was kicked off with the drawing for the Pick It Ticket winner. Before the auction begins people have the opportunity to purchase a $20 ticket and the winner has their choice of items.
In addition to the auction and drawings, a silent auction was added this year and proved to be very popular.
The auction also offers several children (boys and girls under 12) and women only items.
Another event added for children was the "money box." Children were given a ticket as they arrived and two tickets were drawn with the winners being allowed an allotted time in the money box as $1,000 in cash was blown around. The children got to keep all of the money they could catch. In addition to the tickets being drawn, four jars full of candy and gum were displayed on a table. Children wrote their names and a number guessing how many items were in each jar. The winner of each one got a turn in the "money box."
Among the over 100 items auctioned were two heavy duty picnic tables, porch swing, barbecue pit and deer stand made by the Manila High School FFA members. Other items included everything from sod, prints, miniature farm equipment, toys, bicycles, ice chests full of steaks, tools, quilts, and chemicals. A framed print, "Break Time & Memories Picker" was donated in memory of Donnie Kelton and sold for $700.
Ten chances were auctioned for a muzzle loader with Paul Scott Poag winning. Gerald Bebout of Manila won one of the shotguns and Chrsytal Hurt won the Remington rifle. Anita Cody won the winner of a Branson trip drawing.
Malloy expressed his appreciation to everyone who took part in this year's event.
"It is all about helping our young people," Malloy said.