13th Annual Benefit Auction Review

Hey Camp Friends!

As you may have heard, the 13th Annual Benefit Auction was a huge success! I’m here to tell you more about the day.

Crisp and cool, everything that an autumn day in Vermont should be. Add just about every fall staple; we really had the perfect day: warm homemade doughnuts, fresh apple cider, hot coffee, an enthusiastic community, and the myriad of colors just starting to show among the trees in the surrounding hills. Something that stood out to me was this sense of joy among everyone who was at camp that day. From campers tossing apples to be pressed into cider, to board members working hard in the kitchen and behind the scenes, to every auction-goer. Whether they were working, or simply sitting in a plastic lawn chair, everyone was there for one common reason: to raise money for kids to come to camp. At its peak there were around 170 people together at one time. I found this to be an amazing testament to the power of camp (one of many I would experience that day).

My favorite moment of the auction came when it was time to “bid” on camperships (scholarships to pay for camp weeks). Each cost $400, and as soon as the auctioneer called for bids, hands were raised. 19 donors in fact.  Some of them even raised their bidder numbers more than once for a total of $8900 raised for Kids to Camp Fund. It was beautiful!

After the auction ended, everyone shared lunch together, sponsored by Gallagher & Flynn. As the afternoon went on, some people left, and some stayed to enjoy hayrides, pavilion tours, and even a Dutch Blitz tournament! After having dinner together, provided by Jesse’s BBQ, everyone gathered for fireside, a common camp tradition. We heard from Audie Bellimer about his first summer at camp, back in the first years of summer camp. We also heard from Alison Charbeneau about her camp memories. After that, anyone was invited to share their memories and stories of camp throughout the years. We closed by singing “Great is Thy Faithfulness” together. I could not think of a more fitting hymn to encompass God’s goodness and provision for camp throughout the last 50 years. All in all, it was a fantastic weekend, celebrating camp’s history and bright future.

Ok, now let’s talk numbers. Through bidding, camp store purchases, apple cider and related products, and chimney stones, the total amount raised was $52,500! All of this goes to pay for campers who can’t pay to come to camp AND the new pavilion. $13,000 of that sum was raised for the new chimney. This is the most money raised through the auction yet!

For more details from the auction, visit bethanybirches.org/benefit-auction. Here you’ll find information about how much each item brought, photos from the day, and 50th Anniversary merchandise available for purchase online! Now, mark your calendars for next years auction, September 24th, 2016!

We sincerely thank every volunteer, staff member, camper, and auction goer. We could not have done this without you. Heck, we can’t do camp without you, and many others! We hope and look forward to seeing you next year!

-Benji

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