MOSES LAKE — Nearly 300 people turned out for Moses Lake Christian Academy’s annual fundraiser banquet and auction recently. Not only did the event sell out, but enough additional people showed up that an extra table had to be set up to accommodate them, according to auction coordinator Jeni Chandler.
“There was a lot of community involvement there,” Chandler said. “People from all walks of life, not just parents who had kids in the school.”
The amount of money raised wasn’t available at press time, but Chandler did say that a number of items had gone for more than was expected. The highest-ticket item was a Purple Prowler go-kart, listed online at about $2,200, that fetched $3,000, while a week at a condo in Mexico, which would usually go for about $1,700, brought in $2,500, she added.
Dinner was catered by Sodexho and consisted of chicken cordon bleu, twice-baked potatoes and Brussels sprouts, along with the usual salad and rolls. Dessert was not served; instead there was a “dessert frenzy” in which eight large, fancy desserts were put up for bid and delivered to the winning table. The desserts went for $400 to $500, Chandler said.
Chuck Yarbro conducted the auction, while Chris Voigt emceed. Entertainment was provided by the high school and junior high choirs, Redemption and Forte, who sang “Glorious” and “We Stand as One.”
One additional, poignant note set this year’s banquet apart. MLCA director Stephanie Voigt took some time to announce Chandler’s retirement from the Academy. Student body president Walter Meise presented Chandler with flowers and a beautiful picture of Moses Lake taken by Jerry Kayser. In addition, attendees filled a “Jeni Jar” with gifts to help with her retirement.
“MLCA has been providing a quality Christian education in Moses Lake for 42 years and Mrs. Chandler has worked at the Academy for 41 of those years,” Voigt said in a press release. “Jeni has led the effort to plan and execute every annual auction that MLCA has held, helping to raise well over a million dollars for MLCA. Over her 41 years at MLCA, Mrs. Chandler has worked tirelessly with students keeping them on track for graduation, helping them stay college focused and guiding them to hundreds of thousands of dollars in college scholarships. Jeni genuinely loves the students at MLCA and has kept in contact with many of the graduates. It is not uncommon for Jeni to know where past students went to college, where they currently work, who they married and how many kids they have.”
Chandler responded with heartfelt sentiments of her own.
“I am so thankful for all the volunteer help. A lot of love and dedication went into making this auction a success,” she told the Herald. “We here at MLCA have excellent teachers that love the Lord, love their students and work alongside the parents not only to teach head knowledge but heart knowledge. We want our students to enjoy learning.”