Many made center's pie auction a sweet success

Posted: Friday, December 10, 2004

On the Tuesday evening prior to Thanksgiving I attended a most incredible event. It was the 4th annual pie auction, raising funds for the ABC Crisis Pregnancy Center of Kenai. As we entered the meeting room at the Merit Inn we were given a welcome brochure which contained the schedule of events for the evening, the Mission Statement and purpose of the center. The purpose of the center is to offer practical help and support for a woman with a stress preganancy, including awareness of abortion alternatives and to provide an abstinence education program for schools both public and private as well as community groups in an effect to help stop teenage pregnancy. We were also offered a ticket for door prize drawings and, if we were interested in bidding, we were given a number and signed in. We were then directed to the following areas a viewing of all the pies that were available for bidding and winning, a room with a table full of prizes that would be offered to winning bidders, the table of nine pies all made from the 707-pound pumpkin grown by J.D. Megchelsen of Nikiski, and best of all, a table full of pies for a genuine pie pig-out with coffee and tea. Many of the pies available to eat were duplicates of pies offered at auction, which gave bidders a chance to taste what they might be taking home for Thanksgiving dinner.

After the guests had a chance to fill their plate with pies and get something to drink, Ruth Poage, treasurer of the center's Board of Directors welcomed us, and pastor Joel Poe led us in prayer. Then Pastor Denver Copeland began a spirited auction.

Bidding was hot and heavy with much encouragement, laughter and competition pushing many bids up over the $100 mark and one even over the $200 mark. Of course, many pies went for close to market value and every successful bidder had his/her number put into a drawing for many valuable prizes. There were 76 pies auctioned for a total of $4,283.50 realized. Adding to this year's income were 30 balloons each with a number designating a prize with a minimum value of $10. Since many of the prizes were worth much more, the balloons were quickly sold and $300 was added, making the total take for the evening $4,583.50.

The auction was a success because of the cooperation of many, many individuals and businesses. First of all, Joe Arness and his staff at the Merit Inn provided the room, table and chairs, coffee, tea and much more. Dan and Marie Clausen, Shannon Reinhardt and Amber Tirado set everything up and were available to accept pies all afternoon Tuesday. Members of various churches, the CPC board members and other interested individuals baked pies for the auction. Bakers included Charlotte from Charlotte's Cafe with her famous Black Bottom coconut pie and Vicki from Country Corner Cafe with two berry pies. Mayor John Williams made two frozen carmel pecan pies, Mayor Pat Porter an apple pie, mayor Dale Bagley made two fruit pies and mayor Dave Carey talked his sister Vicki Leach into making two apple Ppies for him. What an honor to have all local mayors participate! Mayor Williams came to help sell his pies and caused the price to go up over the $100 mark.

Clare Rowley, Tana Alsworth, Brooke Forsi and Melissa Moffis, students from Cook Inlet Academy, with the help of Lisa Burkhart and Fran Jones, made sure everyone got a good look at each pie as it was being auctioned. Danielle Gabriel and Bonnie Olsen kept track of the sales. Marie Clausen and Claudia Adams boxed and numbered the pies while Lisa Dehlborn and Ruth Poage accepted the payments.

Every successful bidder's number was put in a pot to draw for a prize at the end of the auction. These prizes were collected by JoAnne Martin, Carol Leeper and Marie Clausen. Winner of the top prize, donated by Natron Air, was Diane Hooper. Other prize donators were Charlotte's Cafe, Country Corner Cafe, Veronica's, Froso's, Reuben's, Java Junction, Dairy Queen, Subway, Tree House, The Moose is Loose, The Flower House, Sonoma Florists, Nikiski Homemakers, The Old Grey Mare, Wells Fargo, Affinity Salon and Day Spa, Anew U Salon, Kenai Mail Stop-FedEx, RDs Barber Shop, Gallery 25, Petro Express, Steve's Chevron, Healthy Changes, Alaska Gifts, Good Books and More, Joy Carew, Patty Colburn, Kenai Visitors and Convention Center, the Diamond M Ranch, Longmere Lake Lodge B&B, Home Depot, Spenard Builders, Vinage Bed and Bath and Charlie Pierce of Enstar.

An added feature this year was the pumpkin pie contest. Participants made their favorite pumpkin recipe using pumpkin from the 707-pound pumpkin grown by J.D. Megchelsen of Nikiski. Carrol Martin cooked the pumpkin and distributed it to Ginny Smith, Fran Jones, Valerie Morin, Lenore Gibbons, Carrol Martin, Beverly Waldrop, Melonee Long, Debbie Sounart, and Marie Clausen. During intermission, while listening to music by Debbie Sounart, guests at the auction tasted and judged the nine pies. Ronna Martin kept the judging organized. The chocolate pumpkin cheesecake made by Valerie Morin won the contest. Fran Jones' and Marie Clausen's pies tied for second. Ceramics with pumpkin designs were awarded to the winners.

A big thank you goes out to the director, board members and all the volunteers at the ABC Crisis Pregnancy Center for their participation and behind the scenes involvement to make the pie auction such a huge success.

As occassionally happens with an event the size of the pie auction, someone gets overlooked and I hope it did not happen this time. The room was almost full, indicating many people were enthusiastic about the auction. Those who came but weren't successful bidders also were important contributors of the success of the evening. Put Tuesday before Thanksgiving, 2005 on your calendar and plan to take some stress out of your Thanksgiving preparations by buying all your pies at the 5th annual ABC Crisis Pregnancy Pie auction. You'll have a great time, go home with terrific pies and support one of most valuable centers in our area.

JoAnne Martin

Pie auction volunteer

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