BOWLING GREEN – The main room at the Pike County Fairgrounds filled quickly Sunday morning after 4-H opened the doors to its Springfest fundraiser.
Patricia Fisher, 4-H county engagement specialist with the MU Extension office in Bowling Green, said, 4-H students had pre-sold more than 800 tickets to the day’s event.
“We usually have around 200 walk-ins,” she added, as she surveyed the growing crowd. In addition to the meal, a silent auction was being held. Items filled two walls of the building. As people came in the door, they were directed along those walls, so that they could put their bids in for the items on display before getting their plates.
Fisher added that they start selling tickets for the event in January when they provide the student members with the tickets at their meetings. Currently, there are about 200 4-H students in the county.
There was also a second chow line set up for those people who were doing take out only. A steady stream of people stopped by the line to pick up food before heading out again.
But it looked as though most of those present were there to stay and eat, bid on a few items and enjoy the community atmosphere.
At one table, Ron and Martha Dugan were sitting with Marsha’s sister, Dot Brown, enjoying their meal. Ron held up his plastic fork and noticed that he had broken another tine while eating his pork chop. Dot made sure he had fished out the tine before eating more, and Marsha wanted to know if he needed another fork.
“No. I still have three tines to work with,” he said, laughing.
The Dugans live in Bowling Green and Dot hails from Eolia. They come every year for the food and the chance to donate to 4-H.
The volunteers in the kitchen and on the to-go food line were all working hard to make sure everyone who came in for a meal were well satisfied. Even the youngest volunteers were helping out. Zane Johnson was been busy bussing tables. He was doing so well that at least one attendee gave him a $1 tip. He would go from table to table, asking politely if the diners were through with their plates and utensils.
The meal was served between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday. Those attending could choose a sandwich or a full meal.
The silent auction held such items as a Drury Hotel one-night stay, Silver Dollar City tickets, Magic House tickets, thirty-one bag, Precious Moments figurine, St. Louis Symphony tickets, Branson Belle Showboat tickets, ladybug wreath, crockpot basket, coffee basket, cross painting, Stanley tool box, Barbie basket, Forever Primitives basket and more.
Fisher said 4-H holds only one fundraiser during the year—“And this is it; the first Sunday in March.”
She said she was happy with the turnout and looked forward to seeing all the people who bought tickets ahead of time come in for a meal.