Pam Dudding Contributing writer
Though the COVID virus has halted many events, some are starting to emerge again for community members to attend.
The Catawba Valley Baptist Church Wild Game Dinner has announced it is “back in person” this year on Friday, February 25, at 6:30 p.m. at the Roanoke Moose Lodge #284 at 3233 Catawba Valley Drive in Salem.
“We plan to celebrate big this year as we return to an in-person event,” said Pastor Stephen Vaughan. “This will be the most exciting Wild Game Dinner yet. Don’t miss out on the amazing food, fun and giveaways while supporting a cause that supports teaching the next generation.”
He noted that they understand some are not comfortable with coming to a large event at this point in time, therefore, they will have an enhanced take-out option available with more perks than in previous years.
“It’s Wild Game Dinner time!” Vaughan said. “Every year on the last Friday in February, we host our annual Wild Game Dinner. This event involves great food, an amazing auction and a lot of fun. But you have probably heard that before if you have ever attended one. If you haven’t attended, all of that is true, but there is a lot more to the story.”
Since 2013, the Catawba Valley Baptist Church has hosted its annual Wild Game Dinner.
It adopted this event to accomplish two simple goals.
“Goal one was to raise funds for our student ministries, specifically to send kids to camp the summer of 2013,” Vaughan explained. “This was an audacious goal as every kid going to camp represented around $325-$350. But the Lord provided. In fact, every year since, the Lord has provided enough funds not only for camp, but for so much more.”
“Goal two was to connect with our community,” he added. “Too often, it is easy to do life within our own little bubbles, but Catawba Valley Baptist Church and its members seek to break that mold and build relationships with those around us and introduce them to Jesus. Wild Game Dinner presents this opportunity. Both of those goals have become a standard of Wild Game Dinner.”
Since 2013, Wild Game Dinner has expanded, and now funds around 75 percent of their annual students’ ministry budget. It covers things like summer camp, weekly student ministry, and outreach events while offsetting other events such as retreats and activities.
“That all sounds like a whole lot of fun and it is, but more than that fun, it allows opportunities to minister to students of all ages,” Vaughan shard. “Instead of thinking in terms of events, it’s more powerful to thinking terms of people who have been affected, Logan, Sara, Nora, Sam, CJ, Emmie, Eli, Grace, William and the list can keep on going on.”
He added, “Everything we do is treated as an opportunity to minister to students and their families, with one mission in mind, a closer relationship with Jesus. Our desire is not to replace the family, instead to simply be a resource to help the family. We seek to minister to students and their families in time of need, relational strife, emotional distress, or suffering loss. We also seek to help students find other friends who believe in Jesus, where they can find community. Many students and families have been ministered to when they needed it most, because of the difference Wild Game Dinner has made.”
This year’s fundraising goal is $20,000.
“This year presents us with a new opportunity. Yes, we seek to do both of those things, but we want to exceed them,” Vaughan said. “We want to connect with those searching for a community of faith or for answer to life’s questions and point them to Jesus. We want to build relationships with them and minister to our community. We want to raise more money than ever before for our student budget so that we can reach out to more kids and more schools in order that we can minister to them.”
The church believes this is a group project.
“In fact, it takes an army of volunteers to prep for the event and make it happen. But before the event ever happens, generous donors step forward every year and give items for our auction and sponsor certain aspects of the event,” Vaughan explained. “And, the night of, a host of people from the community show up to show their support. Every year is a reminder of two things: God is good and provides more than we could imagine, and He uses people from our church and community in amazing ways to accomplish His purpose.”
Ticket sales are now open and available for purchase. There will be two different ticket options this year. Tickets may be purchased as “in person” or “take out.”
People will have their choice of BBQ bear/deer or regular bear/deer with sides of green beans, mashed potatoes and a dinner roll. Dessert is included as well as a bottle of water or canned drink.
The deadline for ticket sales is Sunday, February 20.
This year there will be an exciting in-person auction and a week before the event, an online auction and raffle.
To participate in the grand prize giveaway, you must be present at the event.
When tickets drop, you can select “in person” or “take out” for the ticket package you choose.
In order to participate in Wild Game Dinner auctions and raffles, you must be a ticket holder.
The ticket page is https://www.catawbavalleybc.org/wild-game-tickets.html. Once one purchases their ticket, they will receive an email with specific instructions to register and how to enter the auction.
If they prefer, they can still call the office to purchase tickets at (540) 380-8448, extension 4. Leave a message if no one answers and someone will call back.
Join us as we prepare for the event, and join us the night of February 26, as we get to be a part of ministering to the next generation for the cause of Christ,” Vaughan said.