The idea for bringing a Lutheran high school to Saginaw, Michigan was first tossed around in the 1950s.
This made the 2019 dinner-auction theme of Fabulous 50’s an apt one as Valley Lutheran High School enters the final stages of a Growing campaign that will provide future generations of students with the facilities they need to continue to receive an exceptional education.
“The proceeds from the auction really do have a direct impact on the students at Valley Lutheran – mostly in the form of student aid. That could be the difference from a student attending Valley or not,” Valley’s Director of Development Kyle DeWees said.
More than 325 people were in attendance for the 16th annual event that raises funds typically for student financial aid. However, this year’s auction had the added benefit of contributing to the construction currently underway at Valley’s McCarty Rd. campus.
All told, the event raised $86,000, which provided a net gain of $58,000 after expenses.
Of that, $22,000 is ear marked towards the installation of new lockers throughout Valley Lutheran. The old half lockers will be replaced with 400 new, full-size lockers, in addition to four new types of lockers in the new locker rooms and more than 30 new lockers in the new music department.
The remaining $38,000 will go towards student aid.
“There is no other time that people come together with the sole purpose of fun and fellowship with one main thing in common: VLHS – a school with Christ as its foundation. There is an energy in the room unlike any other event I’ve attended,” DeWees said.
Valley staff, alumni, donors, and supporters were all decked out in the Fonz’s leather jackets and poodle skirts at Apple Mountain’s Conference Center in Freeland, which was colorfully adorned in 50’s memorabilia for the event.
The planning committee went all out, even purchasing a soft serve ice cream machine for the root beer float station.
Students even took part in the evening’s entertainment performing old musical hits for the benefit of the attendees.
“There were even a couple of performances from the main stage featuring some talented individuals who looked strikingly similar to Patsy Cline, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, and a young Elvis,” DeWees said “The ‘Side Stage’ singers were an absolute hit.”
Eleven Valley students took turns singing classic ‘50s songs, while others helped out with the auction, and staffed various aspects of the event, such as running the ice cream station and coat check.
DeWees said the silent auction raised more than it ever has before. Other auction items such as the Torch Lake vacation home rental, wine barrel furniture set, and Mackinac Bridge tour received a lot of attention, as well.