Pam Dudding Contributing writer
When summertime hits, the word “camp” is on many teens’ minds.
The Catawba Valley Baptist Church is very active in supporting their teens and sending as many to camp as want to go, with all expenses paid.
This year, the Wild Game Dinner was able to finally open its doors and have their annual ever so popular in-person dinner and auctions.
The event is sponsored by their teens, the CVBC Student Ministries.
Their vision is, “CVBC Student Ministries seeks to be a safe place for children and students of all ages, backgrounds and situations. We are here to make growing and reproducing disciples of Christ who are well-connected with their family, church and community. Supporting families in any way we can as they raise their children is our privilege.”
These teens were everywhere at the dinner, helping out in all capacities of the event.
Pastor Stephen Vaughn shared, “We served over 300 meals in person plus 40-plus takeout meals.”
There was BBQ deer and bear and regular of both, with sides and a smorgasbord of homemade desserts that people got to take seconds of, which was wonderful.
The event was held at the Moose Lodge on Route 311, so they would have enough room to feed everyone and to have their silent and live auctions.
There were approximately 100 items available to bid on. People were lining up early to view the live auction items which included many hunting gear apparatuses of guns, camo seats and blinds, tree stands, knives, beautifully designed turkey callers and a boatload of other very nice items, including a handmade quilt and a handmade cherry wormwood cabinet. They even had a one-of-a-kind replica of The Homeplace with one of their cooking pans.
At the silent auction, there were homemade items, as well as purchased and donated items. (I wrote my bids on many!)
Everyone received a ticket when they arrived and signed in for the free giveaways they announced while dinner was being served.
The atmosphere was joyful, and people were so pleasant.
A heartfelt message was given by Mark Harvey.
It was obvious that the in-person meal was going to be a success in funds and in spirit.
When the live auction started and the auctioneer began, yellow cards filled the air, bidding on the items. Some enjoyed the competitive bidding, laughing in friendship as they would outbid someone for an item.
The goal was to raise as much as possible with each item, and the majority of attendees were interested in participating.
“Our goal was to raise $15,000 and we ended up raising over $17,000,” Vaughn shared. “Kids go to camp in the summer for free because of this event and our kids get scholarships for various other trips due as well.”
The businesses that donated were, Trader Jerry’s, Investors Financial Advisors, Chick-fil-A/Salem, Pine Top Restaurant, Mac & Bobs Restaurant, Three Little Pigs, Which Wich/Salem, Lasterday Market, Specialized Saw & Mower, Big Spring Mill, A Little Off the Top Salon, Bellacinos Restaurant, Ashley Furniture, Greenridge Rec Center, Towncenter Tap House Restaurant, Ikenberry Orchards, M & M Creations and Krispy Kreme Donuts.
“Thank you everyone who made this possible,” Pastor Vaughn shared. “To the local companies and individuals who donated, thank you! To the Moose Lodge for allowing us to have our event there, thank you! To our community for attending and supporting this event, thank you! And to the 65 plus volunteers who make this event possible, thanks you!”
The church can be reached by phone, 540-380-8448, email, [email protected], or through their website, www.catawbavalleybc.org.
“This event is special because it gives our church a chance to connect with people in our community,” he added. “A church ought to be in the community and among the community and this event gives more opportunities for this. Ultimately, whatever this event provides gives opportunities in another year for kids to hear the gospel.”