How many cups of coffee does it take to make a quilt? Attendees of the 23rd annual quilt auction at Luther Crest Bible Camp (LCBC) may find the answer to that question. The quilt auction at the camp near Alexandria has been drawing crowds of people for years. And this year’s auction on Saturday, July 7 is sure to do the same. “The quilt auction is one of my favorite things that happen in the summer,” shared LCBC staff member, Katie Eul. “I love it! It’s so fun!” The day will begin with a quilt review at 10 a.m. with the auction beginning at 12:30 p.m. Those in attendance may participate in a silent auction and a bake sale of cookies, pies and muffins made by staff and volunteers. A quilt will also be offered as a door prize for one lucky attendee. LCBC’s staff will park cars and offer golf cart rides to people so that they may enjoy all of the day’s events. The quilts are made by churches in the Luther Crest Association, other quilting groups and even some individuals. 90 to 100 items are on hand for the auction. These items will range from twin to king size hand or machine made quilts, tied quilts, wall hangings, baby quilts, table runners and other quilted items. Many of the quilts are displayed at area churches in the weeks leading up to the event. This helps to promote the auction and get people excited to attend. Throughout the years, individual quilts have sold for over $1,000. Julie Rutter, volunteer and co-chair of the quilt auction committee, recalls one time a quilt sold for $2,300. Although many sell for $50 to $100, there are also several that sell for $150 to $300. Eight quilts at the auction last year brought bids of $300 each. A far cry from the days when the auction items were displayed without the cover of tents down by the lake, special quilt racks have now been constructed for displaying the quilts in the gymnasium of the camp’s Program Center. Each item is displayed with a descriptor card and a catalog is available with information regarding each crafted piece. The sizes or dimensions are included in the catalog and occasionally some interesting extras are revealed. Such as, how many cups of coffee were consumed in making that particular item. Gary Ekdahl of Alexandria has been the auctioneer throughout all of Luther Crest’s quilt auctions. And the camp’s summer staff members help to entertain and work the crowd as items are sold. Rutter shared that there will be “something for the guys” at this year’s event. For the second year, bids will be taken for an 8×10 storage shed. The shed was constructed by Dale Anderson, LCBC’s property manager for the past 37 years. “Every dollar raised at the auction goes to the scholarship program in order to provide kids with an opportunity to go to camp,” said Dave Holtz, the camp’s Executive Director. He explained that the scholarship dollars are available to all campers that attend the camp. “Our program supports most campers to the tune of almost 45% of what it costs to come to camp. And we raise more money to go beyond that as well.” Campers come from all over to enjoy what LCBC has to offer. Holtz described that during the summer they hire a staff of over 40 individuals to run an exceptional program of bible study, worship and games and activities within the lake, out in the field or in the woods providing environmental education for campers. Everyone is welcome at LCBC. “We want to encourage and invite the greater Alexandria area to come out and be a part of what we have to offer,” said Holtz. The camp also promotes out of town or out of state campers by encouraging the lake communities to have their children and grandchildren attend camp while they are here for the summer. LCBC will have the opportunity with this year’s quilt auction to showcase its newest attraction, Project Confidence. As attendees enter LCBC, they won’t be able miss this new challenge course that features more than 25 low and high ropes elements. Floating islands and a climbing wall are among many of the components that make up the course. “Our main goal is not only to provide another unique and awesome experience for the kids who come here to camp, but we really want to be an outreach tool or resource for everyone,” explained Holtz. “Schools, businesses and service organizations can come together and have an experience that builds a sense of community and confidence. It will provide them something they can take back to their workplace or organization to bring them together and challenge them not only as a group, but as individuals.” Project Confidence will be open to the public during the quilt auction to those in 2nd grade and older. “Luther Crest is a place of community,” said Rutter. “This place just has a magnetism that draws people.” Holtz added, “I think Luther Crest has always been a place that people have known they are welcome. We are open to the public and we feel we have something unique to offer for the spiritual health of the area.” Luther Crest Bible Camp is located at 8231 County Road 11 NE near Alexandria. For more information regarding the camp, the quilt auction or Project Confidence, call (320) 846-2431 or visit the website www.luthercrest.org.
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