Saturday’s mild weather led to another successful Pontiac Township High School FFA dinner and auction.
“It’s a nice community event,” said PTHS ag department chair Parker Bane. “It’s just a way to celebrate the ag industry. When you look at the items that are donated and what the students do in advance, I just think it’s a really nice evening.”
The annual event funds the school’s FFA for the entire year. This covers leadership programs, officer training, leadership development for younger members and chapter exchanges which send students across the country. Bane feels his students are doing great things as they just completed state FFA degree interviews and four of them were winners of the section proficiency award.
“We are hoping to make some noise when we get to district and state,” Bane said.
In addition to a ribeye and pork chop dinner, fundraiser attendees were able to browse through the auction items, which included wood lawn furniture, farm inputs and even a few reserved seats for high school graduation.
“We have a variety of things on our silent auction that range from haircare baskets to gift certificates to tickets for a variety of sporting events,” explained FFA advisor and ag teacher Jesse Faber.
Pontiac FFA officer Cam Tickle was among the many students helping with the event. She could be seen walking through the commons area to offer assistance.
“I’m very busy and I really enjoy it. I love public speaking and getting out to meet new people so that’s my favorite part (of FFA),” she said.
Former FFA’er Victor Johns credits the organization with changing his life.
“I would not be the same person I am without being in FFA the past four years. I’ve learned so many things.”
Johns was a four-year member of the Pontiac chapter, serving as an officer for two of those years. Before he went to college, Johns received the state degree, which is the highest award given at the state level. Johns is also an 11-year member of the Pontiac Power Rockets 4-H Club.
State Representative Tom Bennett even made an appearance at Saturday’s auction. He had a busy day on the road covering other FFA activities in Iroquois West and Cissna Park as well.
“This is God’s country when it comes to FFA,” Bennett stated. “It’s a good program, it gets the kids involved early and it just keeps them together.”
Special achievements for the Pontiac chapter this year include the National Model of Innovation, three American degrees and a state finalist in agriculture placement. The theme for this year’s National FFA Week, which runs through Feb. 25, is “Transform Purpose to Action.”