Church parishioners fill plates, bid high at K of C fundraiser
Stuffing your face and bidding for consumer goods aren't two activities traditionally associated with church, but they were the draw for some people at the Lansing Knights of Columbus' sixth annual Tasting Fair and auction at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 900 Ida St.
The event drew more than 100 attendees to eat food prepared by Knights members and their wives and bid silently on 186 items such as holiday decorations, power tools and toys. The event also included a live auction on 26 more expensive goods such as paintings, an architectural master plan for a garden and a partly stocked wine rack.
Tom Young, K of C member, acted as auctioneer, although he disclaimed the title.
"It's more like standup comedy," Young said of his role in introducing the auction items and mediating bids.
Young, who said he enjoyed telling jokes and has been auctioneer for the event about five years, said "it was always a lot of fun."
Bill Butler, a Knights member, organized and chaired the event with his wife, Debbie. Butler said the club took in about $5,000 Saturday. Much of that, Butler said, will go back into the church, as well as local chapters of nonprofit organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Special Olympics.
Butler said the auction and tasting fair netted less than last year's, but he said it was understandable.
"I think you could call it 'donation fatigue,'" he said, referring to the church's recent fundraising efforts for hurricane relief, including the Oct. 1 yard sale held by the church, which have netted more than $10,000.
For the third year in a row, the event included a kind of eating contest. Because diners paid according to how much their plates weighed after going through the approximately 60-foot buffet line, the contest was not so much about encouraging the sin of gluttony, but the contribution of more money to the coffers of the Knights and the community.
This year's winner, Tim Motley, Lansing, won with a plate load that cost him more than $14, beating out the winner for the previous two years, Dave Young. For his efforts, Motley won a $20 gift certificate to the Overlook Restaurant.