Neosho Christian School's biggest fundraiser of the year, the annual Labor of Love Auction and hog roast, brought many area residents together on Saturday night. The annual benefit for the school featured both silent and live auctions along with a hog roast.

Neosho Christian School's biggest fundraiser of the year, the annual Labor of Love Auction and hog roast, brought many area residents together on Saturday night. The annual benefit for the school featured both silent and live auctions along with a hog roast.
"The fundraising efforts tonight go toward Neosho Christian School's day-to-day operation," Becky Cobb, auctioneer for the event and a former board member for the school said. "Our operating cost is about $30-35,000 per month, approximately $1,000 per day and tuitions do not cover all of that."
Lori Ward, who was the co-chair of the event along with Vickie Woodward, said, "Our teachers work for a small amount compared to what teachers make in public schools. You could count it as mission work, really. This fundraiser, one of the two big fundraisers we do each year, help so we can afford thing we need at the school."
Putting together such a large scale event isn't easy.
"We had a multitude of help," Ward stated. "With all of the help, we had a vast number of people who put this together."
The event began with a silent auction of 80 items, everything from student-created artwork to copper chef pans and many gift baskets. Live auction items included a decorated Christmas tree, handmade quilts, two Doug Hall paintings reproductions on tile, a riding lawn mower, generator, and much more.
In keeping with the original theme of service from the first Labor of Love event about seven years ago, bidders could win five months of cookies, a car wash and detail, lawn work for up to one acre, holiday decorating and first-grade carolers.
"Every class did something for the auction," Cobb said.
Desserts prepared by students were among the items auctioned off Saturday evening.
Cobb ranks the event as a favorite. "I love people coming and supporting the Neosho Christian School. This is near and dear to my heart. My granddaughter attends school here. My husband teaches science here. I support the public schools too, but Neosho Christian Schoo is great for families who want a different opportunity."
Neosho Christian School is dedicated to excellence in educational opportunities from a Christian point of view,
Cobb, who has served as one of the event's organizers in the past, served solely as auctioneer this year, has been active since the event first began. "It started as a service event," she recalled.
Donations were accepted for the meal which included pulled pork, cole slaw, fries, beans, beverages, and desserts. The pork was provided by Les Rainwater, Family Market, Neosho and smoked by Larry Lankford.
"Parents and volunteers are both vital to the school," Ward said.
At Neosho Christian School, classes are small and students work together. They work at peer reading in the classrooms. Students with special needs are in the same classrooms as other students. Upper class students read to the younger grades.
Another difference at the Neosho Christian School is that students clean the school, something both traditional and common place in Japan. Staff at the school adopted the idea after reading an article about how students clean their schools throughout Japan. "Kids clean the school now. It gives them pride in keeping it up because they clean it," Ward said. "They take ownership of it."
According to Ward, students from pre-school onward each are assigned daily task to keep the facility sparkling clean.
Students who attend the school pay tuition like any private school.
Cobb said they hope to raise at least $30,000 through the event. Some of the larger ticket items including the John Deere riding mower and the generator were expected to bring more money. Two unique items were reproduction prints from area artist Doug Hall that were on tiles. "We're excited to see what they bring," Cobb said.
During the evening, Cobb and fellow former Neosho Christian School board member Alan Cook were recognized for their years of service on the board.
The other major fundraiser at the school is a benefit banquet held each spring.  Other upcoming events at the school are planned to include a science fair, a history fair, and an international foods event.
The Neosho Christian School is located at 903 West South Street in Neosho. Persons interested in enrolling their children or donating to the school can call 417-451-1941.