A total of eight East Newton High School FFA members are getting ready to head to a WLC (Washington Leadership Conference) in Washington D.C. in June, but they need your help.

GRANBY — A total of eight East Newton High School FFA members are getting ready to head to a WLC (Washington Leadership Conference) in Washington D.C. in June, but they need your help.

A fundraiser to help raise money for the students has been planned for Saturday at the high school’s cafeteria. The event is open to the public and will consist of a dinner and silent auction.

“It is one of those (trips) that we do every other year,” East Newton High School’s FFA advisor John Littlefield said. “The trip costs about $1,100 per student, so they are just trying to earn a little extra money to make their way to D.C.

Dinner will run from 6-8:30 p.m. and the silent auction will start at 5:30 to 8:15 p.m.

“The cost if you pre-buy the ticket from one of the FFA students, you can call here at the Ag building and I can get them in contact with that student, if you buy them in advance, it is $6 for adults (15 and up), children are $4 (6-14) and under 5 are free,” he said. “Then the price will go up $2 at the door. The big reason for that is that we would like to pre-sell tickets just for the simple fact that every ticket that a FFA member sells, it goes into their WLC account so that entire $6 or $4 ticket that they sell in advance, will go into their account. If they go and buy at the door, then what we will do at the end of the night, we will split that money equally.”

The dinner will consist of smoked chicken, green beans, bread, scalloped potatoes, coffee and tea. It will be a buffet-style dinner with the students filling up the drinks and waiting on tables.

“(The fundraiser) is really our main primary fundraiser, we do have a raffle going on for a quilt that one of our student’s family members made,” said Littlefield. “We also have two hogs that we are going to have processed into halves and we will give away four half-processed hogs also through the raffle.”

There will be a wide range of silent auction items from a signed picture of the Kansas City Chiefs to a signed mini-helmet from St. Louis Rams to baseball tickets of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals, a lot of shows in Branson, chainsaw to weed eaters, a lot of gift certificates, and other items.
“Something that will meet everybody’s needs or wants,” he added.

The fundraiser has had great attendance in the past.

“The last two times that we have ran this, we usually feed approximately 250 people, it is enough generally our students will make enough money off of this event that it will pay for about ¾ of their trip,” he said. “Generally, the event will total $5,000 to $6,000 for us.”

What is the WLC?

During the five-day event, attendees learn how to become effective leaders by teaching them to know their purpose, value people, take action and serve others. They leave WLC with the knowledge and the confidence to act in ways that help their schools, community and their country.

The eight East Newton FFA students will leave on June 9 and will return on June 17. They will be on the same chartered bus as FFA students from Sarcoxie, Pierce City and Cassville, so to keep the cost down on the traveling expenses. Not only will they attend the conference, but they will also make a couple of stops to learn about agriculture from years ago. They will stop at Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington, and also stop at Monticello, which was the home of Thomas Jefferson, also a famous agriculturalist and architect.
For those who would like to either purchase a ticket for this Saturday or to provide a silent auction item, they can do so by calling 472-6150, which is the Ag department at the high school.

Littlefield is pleased with the community coming together for this worthy cause.

“This community has been great,” he said. “The past two trips that we have taken and so far right now we have taken 22-23 students out to this conference, so we will add another eight hopefully this year. This community has been very, very supportive, not only the East Newton district, but also the communities of Neosho, Diamond, Cassville, even Monett, have contributed stuff to our silent auction. People have been phenomenal on coming out, making sure that these kids have that opportunity to go on.”