VALE – In the beginning there was debate and some doubt the Vale Future Farmers of America auction could be successful.
Marvin Rempel, though, was sure the idea would work.
Rempel, who was a member of the Vale FFA Advisory Committee, said he felt an auction was the best concept to provide money for scholarships for agricultural students.
“One of the committee members said it won’t work. Instead, they suggested giving each FFA graduate $100 for a scholarship. I said that doesn’t involve the community,” said Rempel.
Rempel said he made a deal with the committee member.
“I said let’s recruit some items and hold the auction. If we don’t generate $2,500 we won’t have another one,” said Rempel.
So, 30 years ago in October, the first Vale FFA auction kicked off.
The auction pulled in $8,000.
“The first two scholarships were for $500 each,” said Rempel.
This year the auction tradition continues. The 30th annual Vale Future Farmers of America Foundation Harvest Scholarship Auction kicks off Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Vale bus shed off of South Cottage Street behind the Vale Elementary School. The auction begins at 10 a.m.
The auction will feature more than 100 items that range from a prime rib dinner for two at the Willowcreek Store & Café to a table saw, baked goods, a Traeger tailgate grill, a 1,000-gallon stainless steel mix tank, free oil changes and about 20 tons of hay.
“There will also be tons of gift baskets,” said Teri Doran, a member of the FFA Scholarship Foundation.
The proceeds fund scholarships for FFA students.
Doran said the foundation has handed out more than 200 scholarships over 30 years totaling more than $245,000.
“We’ve also done $15,000 for the Vale (FFA) chapter to send students to national FFA competitions,” said Doran.
Rempel said the first auction, and subsequent sales events, were successful because of the Vale community and caring local residents such as Frank Yraguen, a longtime Vale resident and retired state judge, and Bill Romans.
“Our goal in the first 10 years was to give scholarships plus establish revenue to have $100,000 in our kitty,” said Rempel.
The auction usually draws a large crowd, said Doran.
“We’ve had anywhere from 100 to 200 people,” she said.
More than 120 businesses and individuals donated items this year for the auction.
“There will be a Hyster there to help load out a lot of the big stuff and some of the hay can be delivered,” said Doran.
For more information, residents can contact Doran at 541-473-3474.
News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]
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