LAKE METIGOSHE Fierce but friendly bidding for more than 175 quilts and afghans at the Metigoshe Ministries quilt auction July 23 ended with record-breaking sales to benefit both Camp Metigoshe and Minot flood relief.
Organizers, under new auction chairmen Nancy Neshem of Berthold and Avis Tvedt of Lake Metigoshe, worried that postponing the annual sale from late June because of area floods and road conditions would discourage sales, but a total of $83,344 far exceeded the previous record, $60,300 in 2009.
A large, cream-colored quilt titled Metigoshe Meadow Lily, made by Lady of the Lake Quilters from Bottineau, also set a new record, $5,100 compared to the previous sale for one quilt of $3,500.
This is only one of the many quilts that were auctioned July 23 during the Metigoshe Ministries quilt auction.
Two other sets of quilts set off a bidding war. Jerilyn Bookless, of Lake Metigoshe, created quilts honoring rivals University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University, and Kerry Clark and Eris Smith, of Minot, designed a second set. With good-natured rivalry, stiff bidding brought $2,500 for the Bookless UND Sioux quilt and $900 for the NDSU Bison quilt. Bidding for the Minot version of the Sioux design brought $1,500 and $2,800 for the NDSU Thundering Herd design. Ashley DelaBarre quilted the Minot tributes.
Bookless continued the sports theme with a Minnesota Viking throw which brought $700.
Longtime quilt auctioneer Darrel Graber, of Rolette, enthusiastically offered each item, made by people from Minnesota, California and Iowa as well as local people. Quilt names like Minnesota Hotdish and A Bug in My Tent added to the fun of a day that also included lunch.
Many quilt were donated by 70-plus congregations that support the camp. Funds received Saturday support stipends paid to more than 40 young people who are counselors and staff members at the camp which served nearly 1,000 residential campers this year.
Funds from the sale of 20 mystery quilts, a total of $12,000, are being donated for Minot area flood relief, new camp interim director Jon Skogen announced.
"Raising $80,000 in one day is amazing," he said. "Two words that struck me Saturday are faithful and generous. These people have faithfully supported this camp, with quilters creating, donating and purchasing their work. What generosity!"
A silent auction of 45 items such as jewelry, carvings, quilt rack and a cedar chest, added $3,604 to the day's income.
The auction at the Christian Center was bittersweet for many. Kyle and Betsy Debertin, camp co-directors since 2004, spent their last day at camp before moving to eastern South Dakota to direct a new camp there.
The Debertins, who were campers and served on Camp Metigoshe's staff before becoming directors, will direct Joy Ranch near Watertown, S.D. On a small horse ranch donated to South Dakota Lutherans Outdoors, they will establish an 1880s western-themed facility that combines youth and camp activities with a retreat and conference center.
Their North Dakota slot will be filled by Skogen who has been assistant director of outdoor ministry since 1998 for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Previously he was assistant director of Luther Crest, an ELCA camp near Alexandria, Minn. He will serve at Metigoshe until the end of 2011 when a camp call committee headed by Kerry Burke, of Berthold, plans to have a new director called.
The final day for the Debertins was full. After the auction, they headed to the Pelican Lake summer camp site to thank supporters who are members of the Century III group at a supper. In addition to saying farewell and introducing Skogen, they made their final presentation of the annual Directors' Reflection Award to Linda Arnason, Christian Center retreat director.
"Linda is as committed to her call to Metigoshe Ministries as anyone could be," Betsy Debertin said. "Whether it is supper for 300, coffee for 10 or weeding the flower beds, Linda serves. She is a member of the Sower Society, has prepared an estate gift for the camp, and is an unsurpassed prayer warrior."
The evening at camp concluded with presentation of a musical, "Jesus Friends Us Right Where We Are," written and performed by camp staff and counselors. Set 20 years in the future, the play looks back to 2011, focused on Bible stories central to this years' sessions, Jesus calling disciples, meeting Zaccheus and on the road to Emmaus.