By CHARLES TWEED/Ponoka News
The parking lot was full and the streets were jammed with parked cars for the Ponoka Christian School’s annual fundraising auction on April 9.
The auction was complete with a bake sale and kids’ corner but the real fun and impact came from the generosity shown by the community — raising $81,000 up from $76,000 last year.
The fundraiser was organized by Cathy Haagsma, Christina Vreugdenhil, and Val Ingwersen but relied on the support of the entire community in order to be a success.
“The money goes directly to the school and the school budget,” said Ingwersen.
“We receive a partial grant from the provincial government but we don’t receive a full grant. It helps out to pay for teachers’ salaries and programming,” said principal Bob Morris. “We wouldn’t be able to survive if we didn’t have this. It isn’t just about raising funds too — it’s like Christmas day for the kids. They’re pumped up for this thing. It’s a huge community event for our school and we see people that we haven’t seen for a year.”
John and Karen Devet showed up to support the school. The Devets have two girls who attend Ponoka Christian School and another one who will soon join the ranks — Shelby, who will graduate this year; Racheal, who is in Grade 3; and Nathalie, who will be in kindergarten next year.
Mr. Devet purchased flowers to be delivered each month for a year for $135. One may think, “Wow, he got a great deal,” but the $135 is per month, meaning he bid a total of $1,620. Mr. Devet admitted that the flowers would give him some brownie points with Karen but that the reason for bidding was twofold, with the second reason centering on the importance he places on support a school that has given his family so much.
“I think it’s very important to help when you see the work they do and there is a need,” said Mr. Devet. “It’s a great day for the community to come together and we aren’t here for a deal. We want to help everyone even those who cannot afford it. It’s kind of silly but it’s a fun way to raise money.”