United Church of God

Personal From the President: March 24, 2022

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Personal From the President

March 24, 2022

$600 Chocolate Cake for a Zambia Bus—ABC Charity Auction

“Going once, going twice, sold!” Amidst laughter, good-natured bidding and fellowship, 16 Ambassador Bible College students outdid themselves with humor and creativity as Church members and families returned in force Sunday, March 20, to the Church’s main facility in Milford, Ohio. The event, titled “Return to the Theatre,” was the first in-person ABC Fun Charity Auction since COVID-19 restrictions were imposed, and laughter abounded with the skits and auction breaks. The event was also streamed live. To date, the event has raised an amazing $9,500 to purchase a church bus for the United Church of God congregation in Mufulira, Zambia.

The bus being replaced in Mufulira, Zambia.

It was personally inspiring and rewarding for me and Bev to see people enthusiastically supporting the bus project (both in-person and online), which will replace an aging bus presently serving rural Zambian brethren. A silent auction—featuring items donated by local members (including large flat screen TVs)—was combined with live auction breaks between the musical presentations and entertaining acts (including a fractured sendup of Goldilocks and the three bears, and an amusing “mashup” of the Genesis flood and the Red Sea exodus) performed by ABC students. A wide variety of high-quality baked goods provided by area members were auctioned off.

The student auctioneers, Winston Snyder and Matthew Rains, were outstanding and their clever and humorous quips heightened enthusiasm as ABC students walked through the audience showcasing each item. Intense bidding for some baked goods reached $600 each, much to the amused approval of the crowd!

Dr. Frank Dunkle, ABC Coordinator and Director of Admissions, outlined some important aspects of the charity auction event, noting that it is the only extra-curricular event that the ABC faculty requires all students to participate in. The reasons include not only supporting a worthy cause, but also the fact that the auction provides students with hands-on experience in organizing and putting on a complicated, multi-level event.

This year’s successful return to an in-person event was organized by the smallest ABC class to do so. As Dr. Dunkle noted, only 16 students put on the outstanding entertainment, organized the event, prepared refreshments, handled the donations and so on—some alumni helped, but the students did most of the work, by far. The students rehearsed the complete show three times prior to presenting. For the first time, Dr. Dunkle himself joined the event by pairing with Winston Snyder for a hilarious rendition of Abbott and Costello’s legendary comedic wordplay “Who’s on First?”

Successfully completing a complex event like the charity auction builds strategic skills and experience that ABC graduates can put to use in helping organize future events in their local church areas and businesses they may work for.

The majority of funds raised came from Church members who attended, especially members of the Cincinnati area congregations. Some $1,000 was raised online during the auction.

The total cost of the bus, which will be bought in Japan and was previously used as a city bus there, is about $15,000. The funds collected from the ABC auction were donated through LifeNets International. LifeNets plans to contribute additional funds and collaborate with the Church’s Good Works program to fully cover the cost of the new bus for Zambia.

Those who would like to help purchase the bus can still make contributions online at lifenets.org/bus or by sending a check to: LifeNets Bus, 1227 Woodchase Trail, Batavia, OH 45103. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. LifeNets is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Hats off to ABC cast and crew: Alan Ratcliffe, Ariel Winger, Ariella McNally, Audrey McGuire, Brian Styer, Bryce Fogelson, Bryston Bower, Crete Puckett, David Jutson, Fonetia Duyck, Jaclyn Kale, Marcus Lucas, Matthew Rains, Seth Hall, Sue Robison, Vanessa Bean and Winston Snyder (and Dr. Dunkle) for stepping up to a live, in-person event.

We’re proud of all of our ABC students and appreciate all those involved in supporting the purchase of a replacement bus for brethren in Zambia!