I am constantly surprised and sometimes overwhelmed by the generosity of the community that supports Bethany Birches Camp. A past board member and spouse, who was a long time camper, do lots of preparation for the auction each year and even work hard starting early the day of the event. After that they sit down and bid as high as they can. This is just one snapshot of those who are passionate about this place and work.
Another snapshot from Saturday are Sandy and Vernon, the auctioneers. Some years they bring their wives, other years Sandy has come alone. Well this year, Sandy and Vernon left in Vernon’s Prius at 12:02am Saturday morning. They pulled into the camp around 6am to catch the sunset and a couple Z’s. By 8:30 they were out having coffee. They did their usual excellent and entertaining work, and after lunch got back in the car to head home to Pennsylvania.
I have so many snapshots like this from Saturday. Those images range from young Counselors In Training helping with food service to bidders who bid high and traveled from near and far to some of our youngest campers eating LOTS of popcorn. It is all of you, who give of your time, energy, and money who make it possible to provide camp to all. Our unique tier pricing both provides this possibility and also requires significant fundraising. The auction goes a long way toward those fundraising goals.
As you may know, each year we try to include some sort of program in addition to the rest of the festivities. It’s usually something simple. This year, we were curious which Mennonite breakfast treat would be more popular. So, we set out pieces of Old Fashioned Shoofly Pie and pieces of Funny Cake (all donated by Landis Supermarket). Participants placed a ticket in one of two jars signifying their preference. Get THIS! It was a tie! 28 votes for Shoofly and 28 votes for Funny Cake! One of the auction committee members commented “that is so Mennonite. We wouldn’t want to cause any conflict or bad feelings.”
While the preferred breakfast treat may not be clear, we do know that this year’s auction raised a whole bunch of money for campers who need it. Initial tally shows more than $54,000! Here’s the list of items with winning bid prices. We are humbled by this result and deeply grateful for each person in the room that day as well as those who bid from afar. Mark your calendar for the end of September next year. We hope to see you there!
On behalf of the camp board and auction committee,
Brandon “Tuna” Bergey