Students in the Neosho High School FFA are hosting their annual plant sale this week, along with a dinner and silent auction fundraiser on Friday, to fund a trip to Washington, D.C. for eight FFA students.
The students are fundraising for the Washington Leadership Conference they will be attending the third week in June.
"The trip costs about $1,100 a student, so it's one of the most expensive things that we do during the year," said FFA adviser Jennifer Thogmartin. "It's the biggest leadership conference that the national FFA puts on. They'll have a chance to meet with our congressmen, tour the Capitol and all of the monuments and things around D.C."
Thogmartin said because attending the five-day conference is pricey, the Neosho FFA does not go every year, and instead tries to attend every other year.
"We try to focus on taking sophomores because the program is really geared toward sophomores," Thogmartin said. "We do have a couple of juniors and a senior going this year too because they hadn't had the opportunity to go yet."
The students are selling a variety of plants, including several bedding plants, such as petunias, begonias and vincas, as well as eight different kinds of tomatoes, some seasonings and peppers.
The sale runs from 3 to 6 p.m. in the high school's vo-ag building.
Though today is the last day the students will be manning the sale in the evening, Thogmartin said the sale will continue until all plants are sold.
She said those interested in purchasing plants can stop by the vo-ag building during school hours or can call the agriculture department.
Shelby Scroggins is one of the eight students attending the Washington Leadership Conference this summer, and said she is looking forward to the opportunity.
"I've got a countdown for it," Scroggins said.
Scroggins said she and her fellow travelers, as well as students from the high school's floriculture class, have been working the plant sale since it kicked off on Monday.
Though the weather was not what they had hoped it would be for the week of the sale, Thogmartin said there has still been a steady flow of buyers stopping by the sale.
"So far we've sold about $750 worth of plants," Thogmartin said on Wednesday afternoon. "This is one of our biggest fundraisers for WLC. The kids have also done a couple of smaller fundraisers, but we'll hopefully get most of our money from this."
In addition to the plant sale, the students will also be hosting a dinner and silent auction this Friday, with funds raised from that also going toward their Washington, D.C. trip.
The event is set for 6:30 p.m. in the Neosho High School cafeteria.
Page 2 of 2 - "Each student who's going is going to have a basket that they've developed full of auction items that we're going to have available," Thogmartin said.
She said tickets for the evening are $7, and will get attendees a chicken dinner, complete with homemade items including warm peach cobbler and dinner rolls.
Children six years old and under will be admitted for free.
Thogmartin said attendees can purchase tickets at the door or may call the vo-ag building ahead of time to purchase.
Those who call ahead can purchase from a student, with the funds from that purchase going toward that students' fundraising, while money raised at the door will be split among the students.
Thogmartin said it is the public support that will allow the students to attend the conference.
"We're relying on community support heavily to make this possible," she said.
In addition to Scroggins, students attending the conference are: Charity Coberley, Carinna Nash, Kate Anderson, Josh Wittmaier, Ryan Ivey, Matt Ramsay and Trenton Vaughn.
For more information contact Thogmartin at 451-8669.