FLANAGAN – Residents of Flanagan, Cornell and the surrounding area turned out in force Saturday night for the 11th annual Flanagan-Cornell FFA Alumni Auction.
“The alumni and my students put in a ton of work but everybody looks forward to coming to it,” said advisor Jessica Collins.
Visitors come from all over, according to Collins, to help raise money for senior scholarships. The graduating seniors receive funds based on their participation level over the past four years. The money raised also helps the program by sending students to national and state conventions along with conferences.
“We also give grants to juniors, seniors and sophomores in college,” Collins explained.
FFA vice president of community development, Karson Kimpling, said this has been a successful year for the Flanagan-Cornell chapter.
“A lot of our CDE teams have done very well at section. We haven’t really competed in any state competitions yet but we are looking forward to it.”
Former Flanagan-Cornell FFA’er and current alumni member Sam Detwiler enjoyed returning to the school Saturday night for the annual event.
“I remember going through the program and looking up to the alumni,” recalled Detwiler. “They really supported and encouraged me as a member.”
Detwiler graduated from FCHS in 2012 before serving on the Illinois Association FFA state officer team as a section president. He was elected state president the next year.
“That involved going around and serving as an advocate and representative of the ag industry,” Detwiler added.
Saturday’s live auction items ranged from plates of cookies to road rock. Plenty of items were also spotted on tables during the silent auction which was held during dinner. Dan Grosshans, Walt Edelman and Detwiler served as auctioneers for the evening.
The meal in the school cafeteria consisted of pork chop and ribeye sandwiches.