No United Fund pie auction to be held this year

By: 
KateLynn Slaamot

KateLynn Slaamot

NLJ Reporter

 

After years of hosting an annual pie auction, the United Fund has to bypass an auction this year. It also didn’t organize an auction last year either, but Decker’s Market picked up the slack and put one on for the organization, donating all the bakery items. This year, however, Newcastle will be going without a pie auction. 

According to Chris Beardsley, president of the United Fund and board chairperson of the Weston County Humane Society, the reason for canceling the auction this year is multifaceted. 

The United Fund called several past bakers and volunteers to gauge interest in the auction, but several of the volunteers and workers were concerned about working in close quarters with others and about the health and well-being of both volunteers and those coming out to the auction, including wanting people to be asked for proof of vaccination for COVID-19. Beardsley said that’s something they couldn’t do. 

Another reason was that many of the long-time bakers and volunteers are running out of steam to continue their baking.

“It’s a huge disappointment that the baked goods auction just couldn’t be held this year,” Beardsley added. “But it’s just that whole variety of reasons.”

Melissa Stubbs, treasurer of Weston County Peace Officers Association and United Fund secretary, said the younger generation is unfortunately not getting involved in United Fund and volunteer work in general.

“I think a lot of the old-time bakers who’ve been a participant in this for years are getting tired,” Stubbs said, noting that it would be a great help to get some new people and younger faces to volunteer and help out. 

However, even without the auction this year, community members can still donate, and many past volunteers and bakers said they would still be making donations this year. 

People can make a designated donation to one of the 10 organizations United Fund is supporting this year — American Legion Post No. 3, BREAD, FOCUS, Ladies American Legion, Ministerial Association, VFW Auxiliary 2516, Weston County Children’s Center, Weston County Humane Society, Weston County Peace Officers Association and Weston County Health Services In-Home Services. General donations can also be made; these will be split between all of the organizations. 

“If people are interested in supporting the United Fund and can’t make a monetary donation, I would suggest giving their time to one of these organizations and helping where needed,” Stubbs said. 

As for the future of the pie auction, both Stubbs and Beardsley would like to see it continue but said they need the community’s help. There’s also a potent need in Weston County for volunteer work, in general, not only with United Fund but also with other causes in the community. 

Beardsley said that community service is an integral part of what makes a community tick, and the baton needs to be passed down. 

“It’s tremendous. … It helps every facet of the community,” she said. 

“And, not only that, but I think helping your community helps to build a stronger community,” Stubbs said, noting that there are benefits to truly being part of a community and working together for the best interests of the people it represents. 

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