Bidders check out the goods at the 2018 Vale FFA auction. Concerns stemming from pandemic restrictions prompted cancellation of this year's auction, which raises money for scholarships. (Enterprise file photo)

VALE – One of Vale’s most anticipated autumn traditions is canceled because of the Covid virus but organizers of the FFA scholarship auction want the public to know they can still contribute.

“If people still want to contribute toward the foundation we’d sure appreciate it,” said John Nalivka, a member of the Vale FFA scholarship foundation. 

A nearly four-decade long tradition, the FFA scholarship auction is usually held in early October at the Vale School District Bus Barn. The auction typically features everything from a load of hay to homemade pies and cookies.

Nalivka said the foundation board wasn’t sure it could host the auction at the bus barn – because of state school restrictions related to Covid – and questions lingered regarding how many people would participate.

“Even if you could have 100 people, then you do all the social distancing and people having to wear masks, it was just going to be a real problem,” he said.

Nalivka said the board also discussed moving the auction to a different site.

“Where are you going to move it to?” said Nalivka.

He said another potential challenge was turnout from residents.

“I don’t know how many people would be there simply because of the whole Covid thing. If you don’t have a good participating group of people, you really don’t have a good auction,” he said.

Nalivka said the board plans to conduct the auction next year - “assuming everything comes back in order.”

Nalivka said a third consideration this year was the impact Covid made on the local economy.

“We totally understand the business climate and how hard it has been on businesses,” said Nalivka. 

Last year the auction pulled in about $15,000 to help fund scholarships for Vale High School graduates, he said.

Since the first auction in 1992, the foundation handed out more than 170 scholarships totaling $166,000.

Proceeds from the auction also pays travel costs for local FFA members to attend the national FFA convention.

Anyone interested in contributing to the FFA scholarship fund can contact Nalivka at 541-473-4170.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected] or 541235-1003. 

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