Crowder event is a $40,792 success!
November 18, 2010

Holding one of the large wreaths up for auction at Crowder College Foundation's 2010 Festival of Wreaths is Crowder cheerleader Jordyn Hickcox-Lobland while auctioneer Bob Lasswell announces the bids.

Congratulating all of the volunteers and donors that made Crowder's Festival of Wreaths a success is president, Alan Marble.

The Crowder College Foundation's 8th Annual Festival of Wreaths proved to be another record setting auction. The auction, including live and silent auction items, raised $40,792 for scholarships for Crowder students. Once again, the talents of auctioneer Bob Lasswell of Bob Lasswell & Associates of Neosho, with interludes of humor, contributed to the success of the evening that took place on November 16, 2010, at the Elsie Plaster Community Center on campus in Neosho.

Dinner was served before the live auction. Hosted by long-time supporters Vicki and Ross Babbitt and catered by Butcher's Block of Joplin, it served over 300 people in attendance. The menu included a never-ending quantity of beef strips, brisket and chicken along with slaw and tossed salad, rice, green beans, rolls and a beverage. And if that wasn't enough to get guests in the bidding mood, then dessert that included especially good-tasting lemon meringue pie as well as other favorites did.

The 2010-11 Festival of Wreath scholarship recipients include Shylae Gardner, Arjia Albious, Isabel Olvera, Matthew Newman, Myiuki Bennion, Travis Ball, Whitney Leonard, Jessica Lopez and Danielle Mooney.

Jill Bershears and Jon Reagan, Crowder Foundation Festival of Wreaths co-chairs, thank those who helped them with the monumental tasks involved in making such an event a success.

Of the 210 items donated by area businesses and individuals for both the silent and live auction, 65 were decorated wreaths, the namesake of the event. In addition to other holiday items that included decorated and lit trees, centerpieces, Santas, and garlands--the envy of any sold in high-priced luxury catalogues--were in small part artists' Dee Rader's water color and Larry Clingman's oil painting, kitchen appliances, a leaf blower, 4 box seat tickets to a Cardinals game, indoor fireplaces, technology items and gift baskets galore. High bidders included Debbie Alsup for a time share in Puerto Vallarta donated by Dr. Jon Reagan, Freda Roschevitz for a Vizio 47" LCD HDTV donated by Cornerstone Bank, Richard Asbill for the use of a cabin for one week in Colorado donated by Keith and Norma Lindquist and Brandi Holly for a Shih Tzu puppy donated by Hunte Kennel Systems.

Levi Stone and Jordyn Hickcox-Lobland show off a bistro table that was contributed by Mark Collier and Robert Parker of Encounter Stone, LLC. for the live auction.

To get bidders in the right frame of mind to bid on two cows, John Adams of the Adams Cattle Company of Southwest City recounted a time when the highest bidder for beef from one cow was an enthusiastic woman. She didn't know why she kept over-bidding. She lived alone, she didn't have a freezer, and she was a vegetarian, he said. Crowder Board of Trustees member Jim Tatum, who once said through the years he had won more wreaths than he had places on which to hang them, was one of the high bidders for a heffer this time. It was assumed that he would make a donation to Crowder's School of Agriculture. Another high bidder donated to Crowder a copper replica of the Tatum Bell Tower that was created by Cowin Construction.

If you think those high bidders were lucky enough, then consider Melissa Locher. She won the raffle and that entitled her to the pick of the silent auction. Her choice was a no-brainer: GNA Technologies' donation of an Apple iPod Nano complete with a $15 iTunes gift card. Silent auction bids on those two items had exceeded $500, attesting to their popularity. If in winning Locher bought just one raffle ticket for $5, she indeed must have gotten too near Adams' cows.

The 9th annual Festival of Wreaths is sure to be a winner as well. Mark your November 2011 calendar as a reminder not to miss this worthy event.

Below at left, Berenice Garcia holds up the Shih Tzu puppy donated by Hunte Kennel Systems. In the middle, Cheyenna Catron assists John Adams, owner of Adams Cattle Company, in the introduction of his contribution to the auction. At right, Jeremy Brown, who pulled out the winning raffle ticket, Cassie Lackey who had turned the handle on the basket to make sure the tickets were shuffled, and auctioneer Bob Lasswell, who said the winner was entitled to any item in the silent auction, wait for Melissa Locher to realize that her name had just been chosen. Click on each thumbnail for a larger photo.


Major gift is announced

Dr. Alan Marble, Crowder president, announced a major gift qualifying for naming rights to the new health and sciences building. The donation came from the Davidson family and it pushed the Foundation goal of raising $1.2 million over the half-way mark. The family asked that the building carry the name "Davidson Hall." The Crowder Board of Trustees will give their approval on the naming rights at their next meeting on December 14, 2010.

Cindy Brown, Crowder's Director of Public Information, contributed to this article.

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