FFA alumni preparing for auction/dinner night

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Manila Future Farmers of America Alumni Association will host the 12th annual dinner/auction on Saturday evening at the Manila Community Center.

Manila FFA Alumni preparing for auction. Pictured are, from left: Front -- Hunter and Dwight Whittenburg. Back -- Jimmy Thieme, Thomas Jaco, Ernie Malloy, James Despain, Cody Webb, Will Despain, and Jerry Jaco. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

A fish and chicken dinner, catered by Big Butts of Leachville, will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the meal will be sold at the door. There will be no carry-outs. The auction will begin at 7 p.m.

This year's event is being held in memory of Dale Poag, long-time FFA adviser at Manila High School. Mr. Poag died from injuries in a farming accident in August 2009.

"Mr. Poag dedicated himself to the Manila FFA and built an outstanding program over his 37 years at Manila High School," Will Despain, president of the alumni association, said.

All proceeds from the event go toward scholarships.

"Through the years we have been able to give $85,000 in scholarships from the money raised," George Flagg, treasurer, said. "We have helped a lot of young people further their education. This has been accomplished through a community effort."

There will be an estimated 100 items to auction, and hundreds of items on the $1 raffle table.

Again this year the auction will be kicked off with "U Pick It" drawing. Everyone will have the opportunity to purchase a ticket and the winner will be able to have the pick of the items.

There will be a Remington 887 shotgun raffled with two decks of cards; a 50 caliber muzzle loader will have 10 chances auctioned; and there will be a 22/410 combo youth gun on the $1 raffle table. Among the prizes to be given away is a $500 shopping spree at Turtle Creek Mall.

There will also be agricultural items, Ducks Unlimited prints, Delta tool box, Razorback barbecue pit, basketball signed by the Manila senior boys and girls teams, an autographed basketball from the University of Arkansas, and much more.

The Manila FFA students have built a barbecue pit and trailer to be auctioned. Manila FFA is under the leadership of Jimmy Thieme.

"Jimmy stepped up and has been a big help getting the auction together this year," Despain said. "We appreciate him and all of the work he has done."

Greene County Tech FFA has built and donated deer stands in memory of Mr. Poag for this year's auction.

There will be items for men, women and children.

"We are open for new members who would like to be a part of the Manila FFA Alumni Association, Scott Townsend said. "You don't have to be a former Manila FFA member. You just need to have a desire to help young people further their education."

There will be plenty of food and a lot of items for auction.

"We get a lot of support from Manila and the surrounding towns," Despain said. "We want everyone to feel welcome to attend."

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