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Resident Dessert Auction Funds Staff Back-to-School Supplies

Resident Dessert Auction Funds Staff Back-to-School Supplies

Pies to pencils: 192 Columbia kids are getting a back-to-school supplies thanks to an annual pie auction held by residents of Lenoir Woods, a Lutheran Senior Services Life (LSS) Plan Community in Columbia, Missouri.

Lenoir Woods residents have held an annual Pie Auction for the past 12 years and use the proceeds to purchase back-to-school supplies for all the team members’ children and grandchildren. This year the auction raised $9,000!

“They just love being able to help our staff. It is very expensive to buy school supplies,” said Lorrye Linhart, Director of Community Finance for Lenoir Woods.

The idea of a Pie Auction, which includes any type of dessert item, came from Lorrye’s small town background. “Every year a Pie Auction is held for the local high school band, and it was a big money maker. So, I thought we could do it, too,” she said.

The Lenoir Woods auction is held around Easter each spring and features roughly 175 baked items up for bid. “Most of the residents bake their own items. Lots of them buy their own items back. I hear husbands saying, ‘My wife said, ‘you better buy my cake back!’’” Some desserts go for as much as $200.

“Every year I say, ‘There’s no way we can beat last year’ and then we do,” said Lorrye. “It’s very exciting.” With a different theme each year and “celebrity” guest hosts, it’s a popular event for the whole community.

In the past, Lenoir Woods team members would sign up to participate in the program and provide their child’s grade. From there, Lorrye and her team would use the funds to purchase school supplies for each child. As the program has grown, the logistics of purchasing and storing the items has become more challenging. Last year they served 140 children and realized that they needed to rethink the process.

“The most exciting thing about going to school is buying your new stuff,” said Lorrye. So, this year, the 192 kids will each get a gift card to Walmart and a gift card to Shoe Carnival. “Now they can go and get what they really need and enjoy the experience themselves!”

The residents presented the team members with their cards at the end of July. “I have participated in the Lenoir Woods back-to-school program for many years. We are so fortunate to have residents who are truly generous and giving,” said Ashley Robbins, Senior Billing Associate, who has been a team member at Lenoir Woods for 12 years. “I see this program as one of the many ways that staff and residents have been able to grow together and multiply joy – which happen to be two of our new core values here at LSS. We truly are a family here and extremely blessed,” Ashley added.

You can see what KOMU, Columbia’s local news station, had to say about this story here!

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