On Saturday, November 7th 2015, the Jacksonville Cairo Unity Christian Church held their 14th annual Lord’s Acre Dinner and Auction. This event takes place the first Saturday of November and is a huge outreach fund raiser. Over the past 14 years the event has netted $241,368.00 and has averaged $17, 241.00 per year. This year was our biggest ever when we netted $25,046.
The evening includes a full turkey dinner, a live auction and a silent auction. We make the evening fun with door prizes and other games as well to keep people interested. The church normally serves around 400+ meals and brings in guests from not just out of town but out of state as well.
The church has been very good at making this an actual church event with very little of the planning or the responsibilities falling on the pastor. The members own this event and they work all year long getting donations, creating new ideas, sending out “Thank You” notes, getting our activity center prepared (the Activity center was one of the first projects paid for by this dinner), and of course getting the food distributed and prepared.
This year, $10,000 was set aside to give to the Northeast County RIV School District, located in Cairo Missouri, to set up a $1000 music scholarship for a choir and band member in honor of Nola Goodrich. Nola was the church's organist and music director who passed away from CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease) in August of 2015. It also made donations to a project at the Jacksonville Veterans Cemetery to put wreaths on all the tomb stones. We have annually used the money to support the Buddy Pack Program, Safe Passage (a local women’s shelter), and to help raise money for kids in our community to go to camp.
Previous Outreach projects have included sending money to the DOC churches in Joplin after the tornado and funding for a better entrance into Cairo from Highway 63. If you have any questions about the event, please contact Rev. Zane Whorton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story and photos courtesy of Rev. Zane Whorton.