The 17th annual Sedalia Area Literacy Council Tea will be hosted Sunday at Our Saviour Lutheran Church with a wide array of auctions items spanning all age groups.
Literacy Council President Betty Albrecht said there are 27 live auction items this year and 92 silent auction items, plus “fun” door prizes. Co-chairs for the event are members Noreen Loveall and Mary Beatty. Sam Trelow, with Trelow Auction Service, will conduct the auction again this year.
The event is a community-wide effort that features donations from local artists, photographers, businesses and schools.
“It’s truly important to use local people,” Beatty said.
“All of the elementary schools and the junior high participate, ” Albrecht noted. “And, the instruction coaches do things for us and donate. They are always so clever.”
One piece donated by Horace Mann Elementary School featured a cardboard television filled with all they handy things one can purchase on TV.
“Isn’t that a clever presentation?” she added smiling.
A child’s wooden kitchen set will be auctioned off during the event. The set built by David Von Holten, of Von Holten Ranch in Mora, is suitable for children ages 2 to 7. Albrecht said the set includes a refrigerator, a microwave and a sink.
“Things move and turn,” she added. “It’s a pale pink with gray and silver trim on it, and multiple children can play with it at the same time, because it’s big enough. We thought we would put it in the live auction, because we thought that’s where it would generate the most interest.”
There are multiple gifts baskets and art items, plus handmade quilts.
When asked what it’s like to pull the event together and see the end results, the women said they were elated.
“It is fun,” Albrecht said. “Truly it’s phenomenal in that every year we think ‘we can’t possibly match what we did or exceed it’ and we do. We just keep going.”
“In the beginning, with the donations, I’m like, are we going to have enough?” Loveall added. “Then, it’s oh my gosh we do, we do!”
“They just come together,” Albrecht said.
Every year Loveall brings all the donations to her home and organizes each item. This year, she was able to amass the donations in her basement.
“And, every year Noreen thinks of something to tweak it,” Albrecht added. “This year we’ve got all the items in boxes so they’ll be easy to transport.”
Proceeds from the event will go toward grants for literacy-related projects, Albrecht said.
“For example, this year we’ve purchased sets of books,” she said. “We’ve purchased current event magazine subscriptions for different grade levels. We’ve sent the fourth graders from both Horace Mann and Washington (Elementary Schools) to UCM to their annual literature festival, we paid for their entry fee and the busing …”
She added that while at the literature festival the children have the opportunity to meet and visit with authors and illustrators.
“It’s quite a project that we are proud of,” Albrecht said. “And, of course we still have our nursery rhyme books that we are still giving out, 600 a year at Bothwell (Regional Health Center) for the newborns. We’ve also extended those to the Head Start, and Early Head Start location and Melita Day (Nursery). We supply to all those locations.”
This year the fundraising goal is $5,000.
“If we make it beyond that, it’s just frosting on the cake,” Albrecht said. “The more we make, the more grants we’ll be able to approve and to offer.”
Loveall noted that last year they brought in a grand total of approximately $7,000.
“We try not to be greedy, but the more we have the more we we can invest,” Albrecht said.
Literacy Council has approximately 18 members. Albrecht said it is a “small group with a mighty mission.”
“We really have a great team,” she added. “Everybody pulls their weight, everybody does something to contribute, and they all have a different way to reach out to the community and the community responds.”
The doors open for the Sedalia Area Literacy Council Tea and Auction at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, 3700 W. Broadway Blvd. Tickets cost $5 per person and can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling Albrecht at 827-5082. Refreshments will be served.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or on Twitter @flbemiss.